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All or Nothing

Chapter Text

All or Nothing
by gatekat and starsheild

Chapter 1: In Concert

Prowl was less than enthusiastic about his carrier's plans for the orn. Yes, Lord Crystal had a particular fascination for Sirenis, and yes, the singer had some talent, but that did not mean Prowl wished to go with him to listen to the concert. Yet he could not refuse to go either, not really. Not when the entire royal ruling clade was attending. Being the Lord of Praxus had its advantages and Crystal used them to his advantage when he felt like it. Ensuring his creations, whether he'd carried them or Lady Cloud did, were exposed to as much of Cybertron's culture as possible was one of Crystal's great amusements.

It was Prowl's requirement to tolerate the exposure, whether he enjoyed it or not. At least this time would be better than some of the plays and parades in the past. Prowl did enjoy music in general, and Sirenis wasn't bad. Three joor or so of the performance wouldn't hurt him, and while the reception being hosted in the performer's honor would take up much of the night, it would be much more enjoyable. If nothing else once the formal introductions had been made Prowl could find someone pretty to drag off to a side room and overload to pass the time.

Being a young royal had its advantages.

Momentary distraction was provided as a new wave of mechs and femmes entered the performance hall, shuffling around in search of their seats. Most of this group settled towards the middle of the lower floor - working class mechs. A few were charity tickets, placed directly behind the enforcers who were going to enjoy the concert while half on duty. They were there to enjoy the singing, but they were also in the front rows to protect the performer if the lower castes got too excitable.

It was also a laser edge thing for Prowl. He felt a thrill like nothing else when he could watch apparent chaos - riots especially - and make sense of it, which he did with an appetite that distressed his sparker and made his carrier frown. While he had yet to be caught, it was known that he incited small events simply to watch them happen.

He was aware it was cruel, but what he learned was too important to him to stop.

He had nothing planned for this concert, but a small part of his processor instantly started working out a scenario for a similar set up in the future. It would certainly make events like this, or ones he disliked even more, more bearable.

It would not even have to be a large trigger, for even a small amount of panic in such a confined area would spread quickly through the crowd and spark chaos and disorder. A tiny, almost concealed smile tugged at his normally neutrally held mouthplates.

His oldest sibling, the next Lord of Praxus, gave him a look that warned that his thoughts were not as well concealed as he'd intended. It didn't matter. He wasn't going to disrupt this orn, and even though they knew they could never prove his misdeeds.

All attention was drawn to the stage when the house lights went down and the stage lights brightened. The music started before the mech appeared. One moment there was only a well-lit empty stage, the next it wasn't so much dominated as owned by the single performer. Despite Sirenis' moderate size, he was optic catching in a mirror-finish silver, finally crafted decorative 'wings' with artistically pained highlights of blue and red. Prowl found himself drawn to the mech's visor though, a warm light blue polished to a near-mirror shine.


But that voice ... Prowl felt his doorwings tremble as his processors locked on the vibrations. It was nothing like listening to a recording, not even the quality kind his carrier had. This mech was pure charisma in person. A voice that entranced Prowl in much the same way the Prime's could, yet in a completely different manner.

Prowl wanted.

He couldn't recall the last time he'd felt something this intense. It was frightening, but that lick of distress only heightened his desire.

Whatever it took, he was going to possess this being.

The opening number faded away, and only then did the mech acknowledge that the audience existed with a smooth wave and bow. Each motion was so effective that Prowl was sure they had to be calculated to elicit the maximum response possible.

Yet they appeared completely natural coming from the mech using them, as though it was all done without a conscious thought as the music started once more, soaring through the hall as the singer wove a completely new reality with just the sound of his voice.

He had Prowl so completely captivated that the young mech was completely oblivious to time, the audience and everything else until a strong, slender hand tweaked his doorwing sharply.

Only then did he manage to snap his attention back to physical reality and look up at his sparker. It took a moment longer to processes the fact that even though she had caused pain to get his attention, she was smiling at him in a way ... he couldn't rightly recall how long it had been, only that he had been very, very young when she last looked at him with that expression.

Affectionate approval, creator approval.

A tiny part of his awareness decided it was not right that he thought the look was odd on her beautiful features when directed at him. Most of him simply filed it away to be analyzed later and stood to follow the slightly shorter femme.

The reception was a smaller affair, and after Lord Crystal finished with his comments and introductions, a rather informal affair meant for socialization.

Which was almost what was on Prowl's processors as he worked his way towards the guest of honor, flute of effervescent high grade in hand and very little in mind other than pulling the enchanting mech into a side room and sinking his spike into what he anticipated would be a tight valve, cool and just slick enough that he wouldn't tear the sensor-rich lining.

Said guest of honor was currently engaged with several other guests, just as charming offstage as he was captivating on. His visor flickered as he laughed at a comment someone made, the sound warm and rich.

His voice as he answered a question was smooth, free hand moving in accompanying emphasis to his words.

Prowl felt his engine growl, coveting what he would never be, but managed to throttle it back before anything could be heard outside his frame. He worked his way closer, quietly integrating into the group around the singer. As much as he simply wanted to grab the mech and drag him off, this was not a setting for such a base reaction.

He would have to accept listening for a bit longer, allow himself to be lost in the warm, welcoming sounds, the flash of silver, blue and red as the mech moved ... try not to think about his inability to pinpoint what city Sirenis originated from by accent or appearance.

Sirenis was friendly, and on the surface very open. Questions about his music, the themes and lyrics were welcomed and answered. Inquires to what the life of a successful performer was like were fielded with humor and expertise, the answers often earning a chuckle and pulling his audience in even deeper.

Questions about his personal life were answered or deflected seemingly at random, though never with any sign that anything was offensive or out of line. His attention shifted with ease, and like any true performer his entire audience all felt that he was looking at them alone the whole time.

It was enough to keep Prowl distracted until the subtle shifting of mechs in and out of the group left him alone with Sirenis; only his twin elder sisters between him and his prey. He wasn't sure if Sirenis knew doorwing codes well enough to realize the femmes were actually encouraging Prowl, but he didn't really care. It was now late enough he could pull the guest of honor away without being chastised about it later. Two steps forward and Prowl slid his hand along Sirenis' side to his hip. It was a blatant move, but Prowl wasn't feeling any need for subtlety either. He wanted to make his point and get moving. Sirenis wasn't a noble he had to play social games with, after all. He had a legal right to what he was silently demanding.

"Lord Prowl." Sirenis acknowledged, deferential and perfectly polite as he ignored the implication of the hand on his hip.

The young lord shifted his hand to the small of Sirenis' back and gave enough pressure to make it very clear he expected compliance without upsetting the smaller mech's balance. "Come."

"Ladies." Sirenis bowed to Prowl's sisters before moving in the direction the guiding hand indicated, offering no resistance whatsoever. A few hallways expertly navigated and the door to a luxurious, well-lived in, immaculately kept suite opened for them.

Without a moment's hesitation Prowl let his engine rev and growl in the desire he'd been keeping in check for joors. He pushed Sirenis against the nearest wall and pressed against him, mouth seeking a kiss he fully expected to have. A kiss that was expertly dodged.

Sirenis' voice was calm and even but not apologetic as he spoke. "Your pardon, Lord Prowl, but no."

"You are not a Lord," Prowl actually growled, his guard down here, the want simmering into a need he couldn't even name. He pressed into the sleek silver mech a little more. "My right."

"You're right, but not this orn. Lord Crystal has granted me the protection that noble status offers during my stay in your city. I have the proof, if you wish." Sirenis replied, speaking quietly in face of the aggression of the young lord. Yet in that aggression he saw youthful desire and arrogance more than an abusive temperament.

The performer would not have come without the protection, in fact, for just this reason. Not that many in Praxus abused the ancient privilege, but he'd been taken advantage of once in Crystal City and it was not going to happen again.

So now he watched a myriad of emotions and half-thoughts flicker across Prowl's features as he took in being denied, took in the stance of the mech before him, calculated his options. Icy blue optics clouded as those calculations went deep and projected out vorns before they went sharp and focused once more.

With a visible effort Prowl gathered himself, his doorwings hitched in a tight V of rigid self-control, and stepped back.

"My apologies, Sirenis," Prowl's voice was still thick was lust and need, but the words rang true. "I was unaware of your status."

"Accepted, Lord Prowl, and my own for letting it go this far. I did not wish to refuse you in public." For whatever reason the young lord desired him, and desired him clearly he did, Sirenis was not going to embarrass him.

Doorwings quivered faintly. "Thank you," Prowl inclined his head, hating how difficult it was to control himself in what should be a simple situation. "The door is not locked. I think it best if I do not walk you back," he motioned towards the door only a couple paces away.

Sirenis bowed respectfully and made a graceful exit, thankful that exchange had gone better than some in the past, and leaving the Praxian lord alone to regain his composure and rejoin the party as he was able.

The singer easily found his way, having paid attention to the path he was lead on, and slipped into the crowd with practiced ease to rejoin the merriment. He wasn't there a full klik when he noticed Lady Cloud begin to work her way over, though true to the nature of these events it took her most of two breems to separate him without drawing attention.

"You are unharmed?" she spoke softly, her doorwings twitching with tightly controlled distress.

"I am perfectly well, my Lady." Jazz responded, serious but calm in response to her concern.

"And Prowl?" she asked, putting a gentle hand on his arm. "Please do not take his actions poorly. He has taken an interest in so few."

"No harm done on either side, I hope, my lady." Sirenis answered, relieved himself when her tension melted away. "He was very apologetic once matters were explained."

"Good," she let out a small vent of air. "He will know better on your future visits. I am looking forward to hearing you sing during the solar festival. Your performance in Iacon was amazing."

Sirenis nodded. "Thank you, my lady. I look forward to my next visit to your lovely city."

end part 1

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 2: It's Not Healthy

"You need to take a break. This isn't healthy." Impact insisted, arms crossed as she confronted her youngest sibling head on. Prowl had not stopped working on whatever project had caught his attention since the orn when their creator had arranged the performance by Sirenis.

It was not usual for something to catch Prowl's attention and consume him, but this time it was starting to border on excessive, consuming him to the point that the rest of his family had noticed and was concerned. The fact that Prowl seemed set on ignoring their concern for his well-being, also not that unusual, was irritating.

"My purpose in functioning is not healthy," he pointed out quietly, calmly, doing his habitual impression of a drone.

Impact made a rude sound and almost gave him one more chance, something that would have been heeded by any of her other siblings. Then she remembered exactly who she was dealing with and just went for the direct approach. It was the only way to deal with Prowl.

Reaching out she latched on to a doorwing, pinching it in a location that would cause extreme discomfort without temporarily incapacitating her sibling or leaving any actual damage. "There is nothing going on so important that you can't join the rest of us to refuel every now and then. And you make your functioning rather more difficult than it needs to be."

Prowl swung his head towards her with a deadly glare, but stood and complied with the movements her skilled fingers demanded with the smallest of shifts.

"Very well," he grumbled. "I will refuel with the family if you wish. Now let my wing go."

Satisfied that she was getting the result she wanted, if not with the attitude she desired, Impact released his doorwing before glancing curiously at Prowl's current project. "What's got you so distracted anyway?"

"Sirenis," he answered with the blunt honesty that he always displayed when he wasn't hiding something. "Something isn't right."

The answer actually caught Impact off guard, even as familiar as she was with her sibling's occasional obsessions. "Sirenis? As in the musician that was there the other orn? What can be so not 'right' about a musician, and a very talented one at that?"

"Yes, the musician that came two decaorns and one orn ago," Prowl responded as they moved with easy grace through the palace corridors. "I do not know what is wrong. Only that something is."

"Is this because he turned you down?"

He actually paused at that, giving the question his absolute, undivided attention. His icy blue optics unfocused, dimming as everything was routed to his tactical computer. Even with her advanced medical knowledge of exactly why he acted this way, it was creepy to watch.

Prowl came back after a quarter klik and looked at her. "Very little. My response to him is the primary factor."

"Your response to him?" Impact repeated, digging for a little more information. While it was unusual for Prowl to take interest in things outside of his work, and even more rare for him to interest in an individual, it had happened on occasion in the past.

None of them had driven him to this level of obsession.

It rarely ended well for either party involved.

Prowl began to walk again, only giving her glance as he answered. "I have never desired to possess before."

Stunned, Impact simply stared at the departing back of her brother, unsure how to address the one response she was not expecting. She was still standing stock still when he paused and looked over his shoulder in a silent question as to why she was not keeping up.

She knew what she had heard; her processor was simply still in denial as she sped up to join him. "Care to explain that in detail?"

Prowl cocked his head slightly, regarding her as they began to walk in step again. "There is little to explain. I want him to be mine. His absence is an irritant to my systems. The thought..." his hands clenched into fists more suited to Springer, the most militant of the siblings, before he forced himself to relax his hands. "No thought should be able to activate combat protocols. I would extinguish another to have him."

Impact nodded as she listened, starting to understand what was wrong with her brother, and not sure what to do about it. If it were anyone else she would not worry so, sure that it would pass eventually or work itself out. With Prowl ... he really didn't do 'mild' no matter the context.

"You, little brother, are in love with that musician," she finally told him.

"Ridiculous," Prowl countered, nearly on reflex. "I barely know him. How can I be in love with someone I haven't spoken with more than breem?"

The femme just smiled, knowing that the answer would only confuse her brother, for there was no reason to it, no numbers or parameters that he could apply with which to analyze it. "Love does not make sense."

That earned a growl from his engine; pure frustration at something he'd been told repeatedly and still had no grasp of. He hated not understanding with a passion few things could rival.

"Everything makes sense if you know what it is," he countered, the beginnings of an argument they'd been having in some version or another since he was a young sparkling.

Judging by the angle of his doorwings as they entered the family dinning hall, he was perfectly willing to continue this one at the table with their immediate family around Impact noted with a tiny bit of relief. If nothing else, Prowl was not ashamed of the line of questioning as so many first timers were.

It also brought a smile to her face. If this continued Prowl might very well find out what love was, something that would be welcome relief to his family. It might also finally bring an end to this particular ongoing argument. It Prowl learned what love was he might very well understand it and win the argument. Or Prowl would learn what love is, and come to realize that there are some things in life that defy logic and reason no matter how hard you try to apply them.

For now a little normal might be a comfort to everyone, until she could share what she had learned with someone who could help Prowl better than she. "So you keep insisting, brother..."

"And will continue to insist until there is better proof than my lack of results," he said tartly.

Despite the tone, doorwings all around the room flickered in various levels of relief at the welcome normality of it. Prowl may not be in a good mood, but he was in a normal one at least.

"What's the subject matter this time?" Tracks, the eldest creation and next Lord of Praxus, asked with an amused smile.

"Whether or not there are things that never make sense." Impact replied as she rounded the table and took a seat, willing to extend the normal for as long as possible. She watched as Prowl found his place across from Tracks at Cloud's left side. A seat that was empty more often than not.

"Which one?" Tracks asked with a teasing glint in his optics. While everyone else might think Prowl was the most difficult to manage or be around, he found his youngest sibling the easiest of the lot to manage. Though he dreaded the orn when Prowl matured enough to take a real look at politics and begin playing the game. Youngest of a huge family or not, Tracks had no doubt that Prowl could become the next Lord of Praxus if he set his processors on it.

"Love," Prowl answered before she could. "She seems to be under the impression I'm in love."

Impact twitched, not having planned on revealing her discovery just yet. But if Prowl was going to throw it into the open, so be it. "He is, he just doesn't know it yet."

Most of the table, even a couple servants moving to deliver the confections that began the meal, froze in various levels of shock.

Lord Crystal was the first to recover and ask. "Why?"

Impact reached for some of the energon as the servants regained their senses and delivered it. "He has been focused on the same thing for the last two decaorn. That is a record, even for him."

"There are always new records," Prowl pointed out with annoyance and served himself several of the green confections, high in oxygenated copper.

"Who are you fixated on?" Lady Cloud asked, her voice dropping to an excited coo.

"The musician, Sirenis," Prowl told her.

The declaration brought out mixed reactions. The twins who had been encouraging him that evening looked thoroughly pleased with themselves, Springer had his trademark scowl, Tracks gave a small, careful smile. He was ready to accept it, but only if their creators approved.

Said creators were glowing, Lord Crystal in particular.

"That is wonderful," Lady Cloud reached over to hug Prowl, much to his tolerant dismay.

"Sparker, it is Impact's theory," Prowl tried not to growl as he squirmed out of Cloud's arms. "I do not agree with her."

"And how often are my theories wrong on things like this?" Impact asked, addressing Prowl but glaring at Springer. While she was not going to admit it just yet, it was a relief to her that someone finally seemed to have found their way to her brother's spark that was not family.

There was still a chance that this would not end well. There was also a chance, however small, that whatever was bothering Prowl would be solved to his satisfaction and nothing more would come of the matter. But while she cared for all of her siblings, she had a particular soft spot for Prowl, and as much as she teased him she hoped it would all work out in the end.

"9.281483% of the time," he answered without so much as a pause. "What you have yet to offer is anything to do about it."

"I was not aware it was my responsibility to find solutions to your problems." Impact shot back. "But if you insist- see him again." That was the only way to find out if it the musician that Prowl was attracted to, or the puzzle that her brother believed the mech presented.

"You are the one who believed it a problem," Prowl snapped before he gathered himself and glared at her. "Considering our first encounter, there is little chance a second would go any better."

She ignored the first part of his response. "You won't know unless you try. Getting to know someone is a lot different than claiming them. You might actually surprise yourself."

"Maybe he doesn't want anything more than a claim," Springer grumbled at her. "Not everyone is into that romance slag."

"Hush," Lady Cloud gently chastised her militant creation. "There's someone for everyone, even you. I doubt a simple claim would last this long."

"There are some orns you are just as dense as he is." Impact added, moving on to another target.

For his part, Prowl was grateful to see the conversation wander away from him and fixed his attention on fueling and keeping himself out of the family spotlight while everyone else traded love stories. He cataloged them, recorded for later analysis. He had nothing to add, though, so he kept quiet.

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 3: A Double Life

Jazz hummed softly to himself as the music washed over him. The door was locked, it was the end of the orn, and he was alone and at peace. Music was his comfort, soothing him and inspiring him like few other things in his life.

His older siblings couldn't seem to understand. For them relaxation came in the form of games or companionship. The idea that series of tones and frequencies, melodies and harmony, could bring a sort of peace was something they just couldn't wrap their processors around. And then the part that Jazz couldn't share with most of them, the rush he got from performing, from seeing the effect his music had on the audience. So Jazz had given up trying to explain to most of them, letting them do as they please so long as they left him alone when it was clear that he did not want to be disturbed.

Which meant there was a very short list of mechs who would knock on his door for admittance; his creators, the palace steward, his younger sister Serenity, the Intel officer in charge of Sirenis or one of his friends. And any of those, save the last, was worthy of his immediate attention, despite his desire to be alone at the moment.

Sighing, Jazz stood, pausing just long enough to work out a kink that had been forming in a shoulder cable anyway before keying the door open.

"Lord Jazz," Agent Quickwit bowed politely. "If you have a moment, there is a matter you should be aware of."

"'Course I do." Jazz stepped back and motioned him in. Anything that would bring Quickwit to his door this late in the orn was more urgent than the agent's calm exterior revealed, and Jazz was rather fond of his other identity.

If there was something that threatened Sirenis he wanted to know about it as soon as possible.

"Thank you, Lord Jazz," Quickwit inclined his head, waiting for the door to close and be locked. "Do you recall Lord Prowl of Praxus, the youngest creation of the ruling family?"

Jazz paused for a moment, then nodded and frowned. The young mech from the reception the other night, the one Jazz had turned down. He had thought the young mech had taken the rejection well enough. "Yes. Why?"

"He has begun a remarkably thorough investigation of Sirenis, both through his agents and his own effort," Quickwit explained. "While your cover remains solid, it was not intended to bear this level of scrutiny for long. If he maintains his interest, he will work out that Sirenis is not a real mech within the decaorn, though I do not believe he will actually link him to you. I have done what I can without authorization for more direct action."

Jazz nodded, sitting back down as he considered this information. The loss of his other identity, so long as it was not traced back to him, would not have any serious ramifications. A new one could, in theory, be created over time. It was just something Jazz would rather not have to deal with. "What would you recommend doin'?"'

The agent, always forthright and nearly fearless in his recommendations, actually hesitated.

"From what has been gathered, he is infatuated with Sirenis," Quickwit said quietly. "I would recommend indulging him, at least once. It is unlikely he will persist in digging if Sirenis is willing to see him. This has all the appearances of a pre-courting study. He has enough to satisfy those needs. His persistence now appears to an effort to decide what to do rather than an actual need for it."

"Courting study?" Jazz repeated, that being something he had not expected. He sighed, optics flickering. "I need to get that fixed soon, then. Any sign he actually wants to see Sirenis again?"

"If the Praxus Palace scuttlebutt is anything to go by, a formal request will be delivered in the next few orns. It seems his family approves, at least in general. But then, his carrier has always been very fond of Sirenis. I have a reasonably complete profile of Lord Prowl if you wish to read it," Quickwit offered.

Jazz nodded. "Yea, I do." This was a new problem. Now he would need to figure out a way to discourage the young Lord's interest if it did persist. Sirenis was someone who could not be caught in a relationship. Accepting the invitation that was supposed to be coming could go two ways.

"Ya said his family approves, in general?" Jazz paused in his skimming of the report to look at one of the few Intel agents he had contact with.

"Yes," Quickwit sounded sure of that at least. "His creators, Pele and Pala, Bluestreak, Impact and Tango have all been open with their approval. Far more openly than Prowl himself. Those who have grumbled have not said anything against Sirenis or Prowl courting a commoner. It has more a feel of disapproving of Prowl with anyone or general grumbling. I have no doubt that Prowl will receive support from his family in this."

"If they're gonna encourage this..." Jazz laid aside the report, thinking. He needed to talk to someone. When he had created Sirenis the possibility of a noble pursing the musician was not a scenario he had imagined.

"Only if Lord Prowl wishes to, from what I have gathered," Quickwit tried to be reassuring without glossing over anything. "Perhaps you will find him to your liking when he's matured a bit."

Jazz laughed softly. "He's not interested in me. If the invitation comes, Sirenis will see him again. And we'll see where it goes from there."

"To my knowledge, Lord Prowl and Lord Jazz have never met," Quickwit smiled suggestively as he stood. "I will deliver the invitation if it arrives. Until then, my Lord," he bowed respectfully.

"Until then." Jazz nodded, still distracted.

It was true that Lord Prowl had never met Lord Jazz. And Jazz did not foresee any chance of them having a reason to meet in the future, nor was there a reason to try and arrange a meeting between the two.

Sirenis was scheduled to perform in Praxus again soon, so there was a good chance that even if a private invitation did not come the singer would encounter the young lord again.

Either way Jazz was reaching the conclusion that his best option was to wait for Lord Prowl to make the next move, whatever that move would prove to be.

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 4: A Royal Anniversary

Impact kept stealing glances at her youngest brother, both on the short shuttle journey to Protihex, the relatively long docking procedure at the royal palace and the formal introductions to the royal family. Not that any of them needed the introductions, they all knew who the others were whether they'd met them before or not, but it was polite when there was a new member to the family. In this case, they both had new members.

Prowl had never been formally introduced to them, though he had met several of them over the vorns. The Ladies Rilla and Sweetsong had a new creation, Serenity, only just upgraded to youngling and utterly adorable in the way of most royal mechs. She'd be a knockout when she finished upgrading, much like her sparker and carrier.

It was no surprise that Prowl was doing his best drone impression; perfectly polished and detailed, flawlessly polite, and about as interesting as last metacycle's grease. He always acted like this when he didn't want to be doing something. He couldn't be reprimanded, but it was a glaring defiance too.

A glaring defiance that was just as politely ignored by the Protihexian royals, the attitude being simply labeled as a temper tantrum much like those one of Jazz's siblings used to throw before growing out of it.

They visiting royals were shepherded through the palace, offered a chance to rest before the reception began. Serenity danced through the crowd, charming everyone the way only a youngling could, but always racing back to one brother in particular; a smaller white and black mech, introduced as Jazz, who humored her shamelessly.

In one of the breaks, a sleek white Praxian femme with pastel blue and green highlights did the polite equivalent of dragging her youngest sibling over to Jazz. Whisper was smiling, Prowl was not.

"Don't be like that," she chided Prowl teasingly, something that actually made his doorwings relax fractionally and a bit of actual life come into his optics. "Jazz, I understand you are a fan of music?"

"Very much so." Jazz smiled at her charmingly, observing Prowl as he addressed the mech's sister, optics shielded behind his visor. "And you, Lady Whisper?

"I enjoy it, but my brother is the most fascinated of our clade at the moment," she said warmly as she shifted focus to her younger brother, causing Prowl's doorwings to twitch in embarrassment.

Jazz followed the shift, his next address to Prowl instead, following the twitch of the doorwings more closely since doing a bit of research of his own. "Really? Any kind in particular?"

The younger mech's doorwings twitched again, his icy blue optics darkened quickly, sparkpulse picked up as systems across his frame primed for action in a roar that Prowl found nearly deafening. A faint tremor passed through Prowl's entire frame, his optics locked on Jazz as they widened in both intense arousal and borderline panic.

"Prowl?" Whisper looked at him with concern, but he couldn't hear her. His entire existence was locked onto Jazz and the contradictory demands to grab and kiss and to run and hide.

"Do I need to get someone?" Jazz asked, concerned. He wasn't used to having this sort of an effect.

Whisper shook her head, moving a little closer to her brother, forcing herself to be calm. "He gets distracted, sometimes."

::This can't be happening!:: Prowl nearly keened over an ultra short range comm to her as he fought his systems under control. ::Just like Sirenis.::

::Shhhhh.:: Whisper soothed over the comm line, leaning into Prowl and offering physical contact as well, ignoring the look of concern on Jazz's face as she focused completely on her brother. ::Your spark again?::

Jazz watched the entire exchange, careful to not let on that he could overhear them. He'd had several modifications made on the side when he had become Sirenis, included a communications upgrade.

::Yes,:: Prowl trembled, leaning into the contact as a distraction from the chaos in his frame and spark. ::That voice, directed at me. How many can exist? How can a voice do this?::

::That's a question Impact could answer better than I. You should ask her. Later.:: Whisper encouraged. ::I don't think he means anything by it and you are disturbing our host.::

She wasn't trying to be cruel, but if she could get Prowl distracted by getting him to focus on something else it might save everyone a scene. ::Are you going to be all right, or do we need to leave?::

::No, no I'm sure he ... neither of them ... intended this,:: Prowl responded as he got his systems, if not his spark, mostly under control. ::I believe I will be all right.::

He straightened, regaining his personal space, and focused on Jazz. "My apologies, Lord Jazz. I did not intend to cause distress. My systems have reacted strangely of late to sonic vibrations."

"Long as you're sure you're al'right, no harm done." Jazz was quick to assure him. He settled back, not sure exactly what was going on but trying to regulate himself to prevent it from happening again. "Can I get ya somethin'?"

He waved at serving mech, thinking a round of something might help settle Prowl's sister as well. "Lady Whisper?"

"Yes, that would be most welcome," she smiled sweetly, several flicks of her graceful doorwings directed at various kin all around the gathering.

"Silver solar," Prowl ordered, his voice and frame steady by the time the servant arrived, even if Jazz could feel the intense unrest and arousal in the mech's EM field.

"Magma with cyanide and light copper," Whisper requested.

Jazz made sure the servant had their orders before placing his own, watching Whisper out of the corner of his visor. It was getting to the point he was wondering how rude it would be to ask about how they supposedly spoke with their doorwings. Everyone talked about it, just like the various types of winged airframes were supposedly able to do; everyone but the mechs who were supposed to be doing the talking.

He was so distracted, in fact, that his missed the arrival of a youngling that had managed to escape her keeper once more. A youngling that was just as fascinated with doorwings as her older bother at the moment and had homed in on Prowl's. Before he could warn them, or even fully processes what she was about to do, small hands found their way to the top edge of Prowl's doorwings, near the joint just above her head.

A blur of white, black and red all but launched forward, only just avoiding slamming bodily into Jazz by jerking himself sideways before spinning around on the toucher. His doorwings high, in a sharp V of aggression, tight to his chassis, Prowl glared at the smaller being that had touched him in such an inappropriately intimate manner.

Even as Serenity squeaked in distress and bolted to hide behind her brother, Prowl began to relax and followed her movement.

"Who are you?" Prowl's voice was actually gentle after he realized it was a youth that had touched him.

It wasn't lost on Jazz that the reaction that seemed so extreme to him didn't even make Prowl's concerned older sister blink. So it wasn't an extreme reaction for a Praxian, even a royal one.

Do not touch the doorwings.

Maybe there was reason beyond culture that rule existed. It seemed true on some level with everyone who had wings - sensory, door or flight. Who was allowed to touch them varied, but they were all highly selective of who was granted that privilege.

At the moment Jazz was busy working to calm the whimpering mass of frightened youngling, pulling her into his lap where she burrowed against his chest. Wrapping his arms around her Jazz rocked her gently, humming on a sub-voc level at her before addressing Prowl.

"My sister, Serenity. Sorry she startled you." Visor met optics as Jazz continued to rub circles on the small back until the crying subsided. When it finally died away to small static laced hiccups he nudged at her gently.

"It's al' right, Brightspark. He's not mad at ya. But ya should apologize."

Sky blue optics peeked out at Prowl, still frightened but already curious again.

"It is inappropriate to touch doorwings, or wings in general, without permission," Prowl told her, his voice softer than usual. "I'm not angry, but please do not touch them again."

The youngling flinched back when he spoke but nodded, and when Jazz prodded there was a squeak that might have been a "Sorry." from her before the small optics were shyly hidden away again.

Whisper had watched the whole exchange, keeping her comments to herself unless until now. "She seems very attached to you."

Jazz shrugged as he juggled the youngling into a position to allow him to hold the drink that had just been delivered. "It's kinda her and me. Sideswipe an' Sunstreaker are too rough when they ain't thinkin' 'bout her, and Willow and Skygrace are too busy."

He caught the servant and ordered something youngling appropriate for Serenity before continuing. "So most of the time when she ain't with her tutors or our creator's she's with me."

"Sounds like what Impact and I were like," Whisper smiled at the pair. "She's really adorable."

Jazz smiled at the youngling affectionately before his attention returned to Prowl. "She didn't hurt anything, did she?"

"No," he shook his head firmly, even as he had to put down another round of system responses to Jazz's voice. There was a fraction of a pause before Whisper said what he was trying to figure out how to.

"It's a lover's touch. It's a shock reaction, not pain," she explained quietly.

Understanding dawned in Jazz's optics. There were several places on his own frame that would have elicited a similar response if stimulated when he wasn't expecting it. "Good ta know. And thank ya."

Both Praxians nodded acceptance, but Prowl shifted uneasily, his optics still far too dark a color and his EM field held entirely too tight to his plating.

The conversation died away into an awkward silence, Whisper distracted by the tension and distress evident from her brother. She reached out, placing a gentle hand on Prowl's arm as she stood and addressed Jazz.

"Please excuse us. Sometimes Prowl's systems take time to recalibrate when he's been startled. It was very nice speaking with you, Lord Jazz. And meeting you, Lady Serenity." Whisper added to the small femme still seated in Jazz's lap, consuming the energon goodies her brother had ordered for her.

Calm and secure now, the youngling waved a shy good-bye at the Praxians.

"I'm sorry he was upset." Jazz replied, falling into the safety that was good manners. "If ya need anything else, ask."

"We will," Whisper smiled sweetly and guided her heavily aroused and very keyed up sibling away from the source of his distress. They disappeared into the crowd, but Jazz easily tracked them, and their private comm conversation about how Prowl was doing and the symptoms. That lasted until they reached a private side room and closed the door.

"Well, that was interesting," a deep, playfully resonant voice, one able to sell energon to a refinery if rumors were to be believed, purred from behind Jazz.

"Hi Sides," Serenity chirped happily at her older sibling.

"Little bit." Sideswipe responded affectionately, reaching around to snitch one of her energon goodies.

"Which part?" Jazz asked, tickling Serenity to distract her before she could start pouting at Sideswipe's theft and motioning his older brother toward one of the recently abandoned seats. "Serenity grabbed one of his doorwings, which is apparently a no-no."

The older mech winced. "Yeah. A big one. Says a lot about his temperament that he didn't hit her before he worked out it was innocent. They explain why it's such a big deal?"

"Just said it was a 'lovers touch' and didn' really go inta detail." Jazz frowned. "If he'd a hit her, it would of been a reflex thing, right?"

"Totally," Sideswipe nodded, his expression serious. "You know how Sunshine reacts to his helm vents, or how I do along my jetpack connectors. You've got spots too, whether you know them or not. It can feel like the worst kind of assault."

"Ya got lucky, Sere. Ask 'fore ya touch from now on." Jazz warned the youngling, thinking that it was stuff like the fact that you could start a war by giving a mech a pat on the back that their protocol tutors should be teaching them instead of a dozen different ways to greet a visiting dignitary when the first way covered anyone who might come to call.

"He said no hard feelings over it." He added to Sideswipe.

"Probably the truth then, with him," the big, glossy red mech with golden highlights said with absolute confidence. "Prowl's got a rep for being honest. Now, what's going on between you and Prowl?" Sideswipe leaned forward eagerly. "And why didn't you follow him? That mech wants ya, bad."

"Nothing goin' on between us." Jazz shot back. "What makes ya think he wants me so bad?"

Sideswipe just stared for a long moment, his mouth slightly open in shock.

"Little bro, you have got to be kidding me," Sideswipe glared at Jazz. "No wonder you never get any action. That mech was one processor click away from jumping you right in the middle of the room just now."

Jazz was quiet, going back through the entire conversation he had with Whisper and her brother, and the supposedly private comms between the two of them.

Prowl was supposedly obsessed with Sirenis. Could there be a possibility it was something about him, as Jazz, that attracted the mech and not just his musical alter ego?

"So are you going to go frag him or not?" Sideswipe pressed when no response came. "You sure as pit could use it and he needs it. Or I can take care of his extra charge."

Jazz grunted, shifting Serenity around as the youngling started to fall into recharge. "Why do I need it?" It was a deflection of sorts as he tried to work on the problem that was still bothering him.

"Because you haven't gotten a good overload in metacycles," Sideswipe snorted. "Primus mech, when was the last time you were with somebody who was that desperate for you? Even if you don't care about him, it'll blow both your circuits and do you both some good."

"And then what? We both walk away happy?" Jazz grumbled, not completely convinced.

"Unless you both want something more, yeah, that's how it works." Sideswipe could only shake his head and chuckle. "He wants you Jazz. Is it really such a terrible thing to indulge in being wanted like that?" he asked more softly. "Love at first sight and happily ever after is a myth, little bro. You have to want to love someone before you can. Give him a chance. He's got a good temperament, he's a looker and neither family is going to grumble. What's the worst that can happen?"

Jazz just looked at the mech who didn't know the half of what was going on. The worst thing that could happen...? He sighed. "I'll go at least check on him, if you'll take Serenity."

"Sure," Sideswipe smiled warmly and reached out to lift their little sister into his arms. "Just let me know if you don't do him. Sunny and I could use the distraction."

Jazz handed her over and left, still at war with himself over what he was going to do. It wasn't far, and even walking slowly he didn't have nearly enough time to really make up his processors. He saw Whisper leave the side room, alone, a klik before he reached it.

He hesitated, then knocked. He could always turn and walk away. There was a faint scramble inside before Prowl opened the door, his mouth open to say something, only to freeze when his optics landed on Jazz.

From an arm's length away, Jazz felt the full brunt of Prowl's EM field, burning hotter with desire than even the night he'd pinned Sirenis.

"J-Lord Jazz," Prowl somehow managed to gather himself enough to speak, though his field and chassis noise belied that level of calmness.

Jazz forced himself to stand in place, despite the intensity of the field slamming into him. "Lord Prowl. I hadn' seen you rejoin the party. Wanted to make sure you were..."

Well, from the look and feel of him Prowl was far from well.

"My apologies, Lord Jazz," Prowl had nearly steadied his voice, though not his doorwings, the roving of his optics over Jazz's chassis or his field. "I merely need a little time to myself."

Jazz nodded. "Is there anything I can get ya?"

Prowl dragged a deep draft of air into his systems, his doorwings quivering. He opened his mouth to say something, closed it, then closed his still dark blue optics. "Get, no. Do, yes."

Jazz hesitated, then stepped closer. Maybe Sideswipe was right. "What can I do for ya?" Voice soft, concerned, but not stupid.

Prowl moaned, reaching for Jazz with one arm to draw him closer as he reached to shut the door with the other. Maybe everyone knew what was going on, but that didn't mean he wanted them to see it.

With a full chassis shudder, Prowl barely managed to whisper. "Interface, kiss ... Primus, keep talking."

Jazz didn't try to resist as the door slid closed. "That'll help huh? I can keep talkin' long as you want."

A throaty sound escaped Prowl, his entire chassis quivered as his EM field flashed over with intense arousal. It pushed the feel of a mech close to overload and desperate into Jazz's systems, trying to encourage him. Much gentler than with Sirenis, Prowl urged Jazz against the wall. His mouth found the Protihexian's throat as his hands explored everywhere.

In stark contrast to the last time Jazz was in this position, with a field this insistent pressing into him, Prowl was gentle with his hands. As desperate as he was, he was trying to give no matter how clumsy he was about it.

Jazz purred, a little concerned by the desperation from Prowl but not about to stop the mech. It didn't feel quite right, but it felt good. His hands wandered up Prowl's side, light and searching as his gaze focused on the doorwings quivering in his field of vision.

His fingers wandered closer. "Do I still need to ask before I touch still? I've always wondered about wings. Everything they say about them. Wonder if it's true..."

"No more," Prowl gasped against Jazz's neck, his doorwings pressing forward. "All yours."

Jazz pounced on the chance, fingers sweeping across all that he could reach, curious. Investigating with touch and with words. "Are they as sensitive as they claim?"

"Yes, and more," Prowl nearly cried out at the contact, pressing more firmly into the touch. His own hands went still as his systems cycled up, ready for an overload that was only a few touches away. "Please!"

"The top edge, that seemed to get a big reaction from ya from ya earlier." Fingers followed his voiced thoughts, running along the edge of the wing. "And what about here by the joints? Better?" Fingers worked their way in carefully, not wanting to hurt as curiosity was satisfied.

"Yes!" Prowl keened, his body arching sharply as rampaging electricity scrambled his motor control. His hands closed tightly, locking himself to Jazz as he lost control of his body.

Jazz quivered as the energy ran from Prowl's frame over his own, locking his own frame to hold them both up as Prowl's gave out. When the charge finally dissipated, giving way to the odd spark here and there, he lowered himself to the floor, guiding Prowl down with him.

Somewhat settled he murmured randomly, his own thoughts escaping as he stroked the other mechs back, carefully avoiding the doorwings. "No wonder ya jumped outta your seat when Sere touched ya there. Doorwings just do it for ya, huh?"

Prowl nodded weakly against Jazz's chassis, his systems purring in contentment. "Thank you," he murmured, his voice light with static as he relaxed into the embrace that felt too right to be so new. "A skilled lover can bring me from cold to overload in less than half a breem just by touching them."

"Well, I'd say this run don' count, hot as ya were when I started." Jazz remarked, amused and rather relieved at the outcome.

"No, not a fair assessment," Prowl murmured in return as he began to regain his senses. He shifted slightly, bringing his helm up to look Jazz in the optics before leaning forward to kiss him.

Jazz allowed the intimate and very warm kiss, curious now that the desperation had died down some. "One not enough?" He asked softly.

Doorwings trembled. "Not when you continue to talk," he admitted, his fingers stroking down Jazz's sides. "I am coherent enough to offer something in return." Prowl looked directly into the electric blue visor. "You must be fairly hot after riding out my overload."

"I can stop talkin' any time." Jazz pointed out, curious as to what that had to do with it. Not that he was going to deny being worked up after the exposure to Prowl's overload.

Another shudder passed through Prowl's frame and he leaned in for a more heated kiss. "Don't want you to," he moaned against Jazz's mouth, his spark already pulsing more quickly again. "Voice does more than touch to heat me up."

With cautious, inquisitive fingers, Prowl skimmed the edge of Jazz's penetrative interface module, seated unobtrusively between the mech's legs. "Do you enjoy your spike stimulated?"

"Sometimes." Jazz answered, shivering at the touch there. "Voice, or words?"

"Your voice," he murmured, claiming another kiss as his fingers became a little bolder. "Right to my spark. Tell me what feels good, Jazz. Please. I want to make you feel good."

"My voice?" Jazz repeated, confused even as he couldn't help but moan and arch into the touch.

"Your voice," Prowl trembled as his internal charge began to build sharply. He shifted his kisses to Jazz's neck, then his throat, as his fingers became bolder still, scraping along the metal panel that covered Jazz's spike. "Sets off my spark. I can't stop it."

Defiantly something to think about when there were not such insist fingers teasing at him. "So I keep talkin' and you'll take care of this." Jazz whispered as the cover over his spike slid away.

He sure hoped the mech wasn't teasing him, between the charge building in his own system and what was already sparking from Prowl he was going to need some form of release.

Prowl moaned deeply and closed his hand around the thick, hard spike as it slid free from it's housing. "Yes. Yes, anything," he nearly pleaded, shifting back to lay between Jazz's legs, his doorwings pressed up and forward. Without hesitation he lowered his mouth around the spike, swirling his glossa around the tip, his hand massaging and stroking the base.

Jazz gasped as the sudden sensation, frozen until he recalled his end of the bargain. His voice. And ... those doorwings. So enticing and so entirely in his reach.

He started working on the smooth expanse, fingers tracing over them as he started to speak. "That's good. So very good, even though I'd talk just to play with your doorwings, if that's what it takes ta get ya off. To make ya feel good."

Prowl shuddered, a moan reverberating from deep in his chassis rolling over Jazz's spike as more was taken into Prowl's mouth.

After a clumsy effort, Prowl pinged Jazz for a private comm. ::More than enough to get me off,:: he moaned deeply. ::Want it mutual. Want to be with you.::

"Appreciated." Jazz breathed, tracing his fingers along the edges of the wings to see what kind of response the action earned him, fascinated by the way they trembled and fluttered. "So what should I say? Ya like sweet talk? Maybe somethin' a little dirtier?"

::Anything,:: Prowl trembled, taking the spike all the way in to work the tapered tip with his intake. ::Your lineage, periodic tables, the latest music, what you like a lover to do. Anything.::

"What your doin' is workin' jus' fine." Jazz had to concentrate on forming words now. "Primus, this is good. Too good. So beautiful, and he was right. Never gonna hear the end of it. Not sure I care."

::Impact's always telling me there's nothing to regret in pleasure,:: Prowl offered, his chassis and doorwings crackling brightly with arcs of electricity as he struggled to hold off his second overload until Jazz had had one. ::Want to feel you talk against my chamber,:: he admitted, rubbing his own interface panel against the floor for a little extra stimulation.

"So my brothers tell me too." Jazz replied, working his way into the joints on the wings again, recalling how well that had worked last time. "And whatever ya want, but ya'd have to move for that, I think."

Prowl's processors whited out at the agreement he never expected to hear. He was past language by the time he came back and put his full focus on the spike in his mouth, humming, sucking, licking ... everything that felt good on his spike.

Jazz cried out, just barely remembering to pull his hands to avoid actually grabbing the doorwings, hands anchoring on Prowl's shoulders instead as release swept through him. He was only distantly aware that Prowl kept working his spike the entire time, even as he came down, gradually easing the intensity until Jazz was slumped forward.

Only then did Prowl move, shifting to his knees between Jazz's legs for another series of sweet, warm kisses. His glossa, still coated in Jazz's transfluid, brushed against Jazz's lips for entrance.

Lips that parted willingly enough as Jazz worked his way through the pleasurable haze still clouding his processor. Hands shifted from the shoulder death grip to Prowl's waist, holding him close.

"So good." Jazz praised quietly, glancing down. "Still want...?"

"Yes," Prowl trembled, unlocking his chest plates without hesitation. His optics were a deep blue from arousal, his overload close as he bared the brilliant icy-blue spark pulsing in its crystal chamber.

Jazz paused, staring as it struck him just how much power he seemed to have over the mech in arms. It was intoxicating and terrifying. To trust someone you barely knew on this level...

Prowl's optic shutters slid closed as he arched his spark a little closer to Jazz. His entire existence was focused on that one point, where that voice would resonate directly into the crystal, surround his spark with nothing dampening it. It would either be exquisite pleasure or unbearable pain. Either way, Prowl wanted.

Jazz hesitated for a moment longer, unsure, and then opened his mouth. It was not words that emerged, but song. Music soft and sweet, his comfort in the world, one that soothed his aches and needs so often.

Maybe it would bring peace to Prowl as well.

A cry of raw ecstasy escaped Prowl and he reached forward blindly, grabbing Jazz's arms in an effort to ground himself enough to not fly apart with the overload that exploded across every system directly from his spark.

Jazz had to dim his optics against the intensity of the flaring spark, continuing his song until Prowl fell offline in his arms.

Automated protection protocols closed the armor over Prowl's spark as Jazz settled the mech in his arms. One hand came to rest over the spark that he could feel pulsing even and steady, in such sharp contrast to Jazz's own spark.

Jazz's spark was a turbulent mass of fear and fascination, trepidation and a half a dozen other emotions that he couldn't separate out well enough to fit words to at the moment.

This was not at all what he thought the first meeting between himself and Prowl would be like, much less end like. This Prowl was nothing like the one who had assaulted Sirenis, yet Jazz could see, feel exactly how that first encounter had happened. He wasn't nearly as sure as he wanted to be that he wouldn't take advantage of a commoner if the draw was that intense. He wanted to believe he wouldn't force himself on another, but he could no longer be as positive as he once was.

It wasn't a pleasant feeling, to realize that there were things that could cause a mech to cross such important lines.

::Hay little bro, need a polishing cloth or two ta clean up?:: Sideswipe's private comm pinged him some time later, distracting Jazz from his mulling of Prowl, what it was between them and the implications of it.

Like how many others reacted to him this way that he never knew about.

::I am goin' need somethin' to clean up with, as will he, eventually.:: Jazz admitted quietly, daring to rub his fingers over the white armor. ::If Prowl's sister is around- the young one? That might be good.::

Sideswipe overrode the lock, tossed a couple polishing cloths to Jazz and slipped away. ::I'll find her.::

Jazz picked up the cloths, then looked at the mech pinning him to the floor. As comfortable as this was, the arrangement was not productive to either of them being fit for polite company again. So despite his reluctance he gently nudged a shoulder, grateful when it seemed enough to begin Prowl's boot cycle.

He went back to contemplating the mech he was holding as Prowl's systems came online slowly. He wanted to see the state of the mech, hoping that, as much as he had enjoyed it, the mech was content now. It took nearly half a klik before Prowl focused on him with coherent, clear, icy blue optics.

The Praxian smiled faintly and shifted to lean forward for a kiss, humming softly in the light pleasure of a settled system.

"Better?" Jazz asked softly.

A shiver passed down Prowl's chassis. He lifted a finger to Jazz's lips and pressed it there gently. ::Comm, please. I'll get revved up again otherwise. Not that I'd object to spending the rest of my stay in your berth feeling your voice.::

::I wondered.:: Jazz replied, obediently switching over to the comm. ::I'm-.::

Sorry. He wanted to say he was sorry. Sorry for causing Prowl so much distress. Sorry for something he hadn't even known he was doing, was capable of doing.

A kiss interrupted the thought.

::Not interested?:: Prowl offered an out, offered not to make Jazz say it, even as he reached for a polishing cloth to get the scrapes and chromite transfers to settle in the right colors again.

Jazz beat him to the cloth, reaching around to buff out one of the scrapes, tracing it with his fingers instead as he tried to get his feeling to settle into words that he could share.

He was interested. Fascinated. Sitting here now he had to remind himself that casually touching Prowl's doorwings wasn't a good idea, no matter how tempting they were. ::I'd like to see ya again.::

A low, quiet sound escaped Prowl's chassis and doorwings flickered, almost fluttered. ::I would like that as well,:: Prowl nearly purred, pressing into the contact. ::A great deal.::

::Hay little bro, I found her. Ready for us?:: Sideswipe's comm pinged Jazz for attention.

::Things aren't gonna get any better.:: Jazz answered.

::My brother and your sister are here.:: He added to Prowl.

::Which...:: Prowl began to ask before the opening door revealed Sideswipe and Whisper.

Both looked inordinately pleased when they looked at the two mechs still in a fairly intimate position on the floor.

"So which one of you pushed him into coming in?" Prowl asked calmly as the door closed, but made no effort to extract himself.

Sideswipe crossed the room, smirking down at them. "So was I right?" He asked Jazz, obviously pleased at what he was seeing.

::Yes,:: Jazz grumbled at him, opening the comm line to all three to avoid tormenting Prowl. ::You were right.::

Prowl gave the red mech a curious look.

"Told him it would do him some good." Sideswipe explained, moving in closer to help. "Both of you some good. Not that we would have left you hanging."

Prowl raised an optic ridge but let the comment pass. As much as he hoped he would have said no to the Protihexian twins, he doubted he would have given his state when Jazz had knocked. He'd been in too much need to refuse.

It was something of a relief when Sideswipe's touch, in helping him clean up, didn't elicit a reaction.

Watching his peaceful, non-confrontational, not-interested-in-Jazz-at-all sister help the other black and white mech clean up was another matter. He only just managed to keep the rumble of warning from forming.

Whisper worked quickly and efficiently, catching her brother's mood and glancing at him, curious. She had hoped that this would resolve the matter, but it appeared to have simply aggravated the situation even more.

She stepped away as soon as the last transfer was wiped away, nodding in response to Jazz's thanks over the comm line he seemed determined to maintain, a fact that was starting to earn him odd looks from Sideswipe.

"I asked him to use comm only around me," Prowl finally caught on, reluctantly maintaining a respectable distance from Jazz. "It reduces the ... tension."

That raised Sideswipe's optic ridge and he focused on Jazz. "Really now?"

::Yea. Really.:: Jazz responded, checking himself over one more time for any traces of their encounter. While it might be perfectly acceptable, there was no need to advertise what they had done to the rest of the guests.

Whisper joined Prowl, hand resting lightly on his forearm as she gave him a visual once over. "Ready to rejoin the party?"

"As I am likely to be," Prowl inclined his helm to her, then looked at Jazz. "After the party?" he asked, including the trill for 'your place' at the end.

Jazz hesitated for a nanoklik, then nodded in acceptance. Maybe he could come up with something between now and then, some solution, or at least an explanation, to whatever was between them. He did not miss Sideswipe's expression at the question.

The moment the Praxians were out of audio range, Sideswipe all but pounced. "So, seriously, details, mech."

"I came in. He pretty much jumped me, and I overloaded him twice." Jazz summed up, not sure about telling his brother that apparently it was his voice that fired the mech up. "And doorwings defiantly do it for a Praxian."

"That I know," Sideswipe rolled his optics. "I mean do you know what sets him off about you? Him jumping you is as out of character as you jumping him."

"'Parently he likes the sound of my voice." Jazz answered, watching Sideswipe closely. If anyone besides a medic would have an idea if that was normal he would bet it would be one of his very experienced siblings. "And I didn' jump him."

"Your voice," Sideswipe's optics narrowed, replaying what he'd seen. "And I know, the point was that he's only marginally more interested in interfacing than you are. If they weren't so happy about him finally being interested in anyone that way he'd have been off to the processor doc the night he grabbed Sirenis. You're sure it's your voice and not your spark or EM?"

"I'm no medic!" Jazz turned on his brother, frustration clearly evident. "He says it's my voice that does it for him."

"Okay, okay," he raised his hands. "Relax. I'm just trying to work this through little bro. If we know what we have a better chance of working on a control. If it's a spark thing, you'll feel a pull too, even if it's not anywhere close to as strong."

Jazz stopped, hand rubbing at his chest plates over his spark that would give him some insight. He looked at Sideswipe, more distressed than angry at the moment. "I don't."

"Did being near him, in contact with his field or plating, cause any kind of unusual reaction?" Sideswipe asked, his voice gentler than usual.

"In him or me?" Jazz sighed. "He only jumped me." Twice. Prowl had only jumped him twice now. And Jazz was supposed to see him when the party was over, and Sirenis was going to see him again too, soon.

"In you. I know what you do to him," Sideswipe chuckled and put a comforting hand on Jazz's shoulder. "So it's one sided. Do you want to ask him if he's been scanned for Seeker resonance code, or should I dig it up? Any rumor as strong as the Praxus-Vos connection is bound to have some truth in it."

Jazz twitched, remembering how desperate Prowl had been. To be driven like that-. "It would be nice ta know, one way or another." It wasn't really an answer to Sideswipe's question. It was something he should ask the mech himself, but at the same time he wasn't sure how Prowl would respond to the questioning.

"Not in me." He added softly. "I'd like to see him again, but I don't hafta. Not like...not like he seems to want to."

The red mech nodded, his normally mobile features turning grim and serious. "Jazz, if this is Seeker resonance ... You need to be prepared for it. It's everything you never wanted. From what I've seen, he'll be good to you, do anything for you, but it'll come with demands he's probably no more prepared for than you are. It's reproductive coding, driving a mech to the best breeding partner available. It never goes way, not until you're bonded. Then it'll demand sparklings."

"And I'm the best option he's got?" Jazz asked, dark humor an attempt to cover how terrifying the idea of being controlled like that was. He liked options. Freedom. That was half the reason he had created Sirenis.

"If that's what it is, yeah, you're it," he nodded grimly. "On the up side, if it's that resonance and you're it, our folks'll probably pull you over for a long talk about it as soon as they can. At least if the Praxians know that's what it is, which they might not. Prowl sure didn't, but he's young enough they might not have had that 'talk' with him yet.

"Then it might be Primus playing god," Sideswipe cracked a grin. "And it's something completely new that he's trying out on us."

Jazz shook his head, not nearly as amused at the idea as Sideswipe. It wasn't his brother that was caught in the middle of this mess. "So how do we find out? And how in Pit am I gonna explain all this?"

Sideswipe just grinned and hugged his youngest brother close. "You don't need to. That's the good part. You just enjoy him, get to know him and decide how much misery you're going to put him through to win you if it is Seeker resonance. Just be careful about sparks. Anything this strong might not be that polite about waiting. You leave the finding out to me."

Jazz hesitated. "Sparks?" It was nice to let someone else take care of finding out, though he was probably going to have to share his secret with his brother before Sirenis met Prowl again.

But this was Sideswipe. And as much as he annoyed and exasperated Jazz sometimes, he knew deep in his spark the red mech only had the best interest of his kin in mind.

"Sparks, don't touch his, keep your chest closed if you can. Try to avoid plugging in. We're already deep in freaky-slag land with this. As little credit as I give unintentional spark bonds, after this orn, I can't ignore the possibility. Just be careful."

Jazz nodded, the second time he had overloaded Prowl still clear in his memory. The intensity of the spark of the other mech. With his brother's warning ... he shivered. "We should get back to the party."

"Sure," Sideswipe still stopped him as he stepped back and tipped Jazz's face up to look him in the optics. "It's going to be okay, little bro. We'll make sure of it."

Jazz studied him, then nodded, leaning against his brother seeking comfort like he had when he was a youngling no older than Serenity. He trusted Sideswipe, stepping back pulling himself together before rejoining the party.

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 5: Testing Limits

Sideswipe looked around the library of his creator's suite, taking in the serious expressions of those gathered at his request. His youngest brother and Prowl were occupied with each other in Jazz's suite and likely would be until someone commed Prowl that it was time to go home.

"Thank you for coming," he began, bowing politely to Prowl's creators, inclining his head to one of his older sisters, the medical-trained Impact, then his creators and the family physician for each ruling clade. "Everyone knows the basics? Something about Jazz is really setting Prowl off and we all want them both to be happy. That means working out what gives."

"Prowl happy." Impact murmured, sounding hopeful for a moment, then sighing as she slumped in her seat. "They should know that Prowl's obsession...may not last."

"Let's get everything on the floor," Sideswipe encouraged her. "Jazz is pretty freaked out by what's going on."

Impact considered, weaving back and forth before looking at her creators for permission, who nodded.

"Unless he told you in confidence," Lord Crystal added.

Impact laughed softly, looking around. "This is Prowl we are talking about. He is..." She met Sideswipes optics. "different. Until the reception tonight he had spent the last several decaorns discovering everything he could about a musician from your city, Sirenis."

"I know, and I know why," the red mech vented. "They have very similar voices. From what Prowl told Jazz, the voice is the draw. It creates a physical reaction. A rather intense one."

"Well, that certainly explains why Whisper had to drag him off to a side room so he could get himself under control." She frowned. "His voice?" That was a new one.

"As far as they've worked out," Sideswipe nodded. "But all we're really sure of is that as intense it is for Prowl, Jazz doesn't experience any kind of pull. I was wondering if he's been tested for Seeker resonance code."

"Yes," Lord Crystal said evenly. "It has not been active for generations, and it was not active in Prowl five orns ago." He glanced at First Aid for confirmation.

"Correct, my Lord," the red-visored slender mech inclined his helm. "Whatever he is experiencing has not left a physical or code trace."

"He was able to control himself last time." Impact pointed out, more to herself than to anyone else in the room, deeply concerned for her brother. Whisper was not one to panic, but not even she had been able to make sense of their brother's actions. "Is there something else it could be? Something else that your brother is doing?"

"It's not intentional, if he is. Jazz isn't the type to play with mechs. He may be social, but he's not a player. 'Facing has never been on his agenda," Sideswipe said firmly. "Prowl did control himself this time, until Jazz agreed to interface." His focus shifted to those with medical training. "What would happen if a mech encountered sound that resonated perfectly with their spark or chamber?"

"It's never been documented, that I know of," Impact glanced at the other two.

"Not that I have heard of." First Aid agreed, thoughtful. "It is entirely possible that it would cause a reaction, and that Lord Prowl's reaction manifests itself in the form of arousal."

"Agreed, I have not encountered it, but the theory is sound," Callback, the physician for the Protihexian royal house, said. "If the spark chamber vibrates, it stimulates the spark, which would increase the energy in all systems. The reaction would likely depend on the nature of the mech experiencing it as well as the extent of the harmonic."

"How would we find out?" Sideswipe asked, his focus sharp on the two physicians.

All concerned optics turned on the physicians.

"Well, observation is always helpful in such matters," Callback suggested.

"Yes. If they are agreeable, a few simple, controlled experiments could tell us a great deal," First Aid added, then glanced between the two sets of creators. "Is the goal to block this effect?"

"Perhaps, given the circumstances, they should have some say in the matter." Lady Cloud suggested quietly. She had no wish to see her youngest creation suffer for any reason.

"Of course, my Lady," First Aid said quickly. "It merely affects the focus of the tests. Blocking is much simpler than controlling, but not as pleasant if one wishes to enjoy the effects from time to time."

"What are the options and the risks? And are there any risks to Jazz?" Lady Rilla demanded.

"It would depend on the actual cause and effects, Lady Rilla," First Aid said smoothly. "If it is entirely on Prowl's side, then there would be no risks to Jazz. The worst he would experience is the embarrassment of interfacing in front of Physician Callback and myself if Prowl is pushed too far in the testing phase."

"There is no point in discussing options until we know more, and we will not know more until the tests are run." Impact stated, not at all pleased with idea of her brother being subjected to the tests but at a loss for a better idea. At least they were planning to ask the pair to agree. But ... they were so sweet together, with Prowl lounging against Jazz, so relaxed. Lightly tangled together, their nearly reversed color schemes had looked good together too.

"No, I suppose there is not," First Aid consented. "Who will alert them and tell them we would like to see them?"

"I will," Sideswipe said firmly, literally daring anyone to counter him. He opened his comm and pinged Jazz with the message and to get back to him when they were fit for company and not a moment sooner. Jazz wasn't the interface junkie Sideswipe and his twin were, but there was no way he'd interrupt a good 'facing just to see the doc.

Jazz moaned and thrust his hips up into the delightful sensation of Prowl's hand wrapped around both their spikes, flexible metal sliding against metal, all of it rich in sensors. Even though Prowl had him talk as much as he could, the mech also had a real thing for kissing, which Jazz also has no objection too. Still, he broke the kiss and tilted his head, whispering softly. Even the smallest of voiced sounds from him got a response from Prowl, and Jazz was starting to enjoy finding just what worked.

Even those whispers were enough to arch Prowl's helm back with a trembling moan of pure ecstasy, far more intense than the quickly building charge from their spikes. For a mech who Jazz knew hadn't had many lovers, or any for long, Prowl knew how to pleasure a frame with hands and mouth.

Taking advantage of the exposed neck Jazz nibbled and kissed, grinding a little harder against Prowl and wondering what it would be like to take the mech, to use his hands and his voice and his spike to drive Prowl over the edge. It was an enticing, erotic mental image, only encouraged by how wantonly tactile the mech above him.

With a shuddering moan Prowl's fingers tightened around their spikes and he thrust forward a lit harder a couple times. His helm was thrown back with a choked cry of ecstasy as he overloaded, spilling his transfluid over Jazz's abdominal plates and his own hand.

Jazz smirked a little as Prowl overloaded, waiting until the mech was coming down from the high before giving into the mental image tormenting him.

"Good? Here's an idea for ya." He purred, rubbing his whole frame against Prowl's. "You on my berth. My voice. My hands on your wings. My spike in your valve until nothin' else matters but what we're doin'."

With every word Prowl's engine revved hard, all the way to the end ... right up until his processor caught up with the meaning of the exquisitely pleasurable vibrations that caressed his spark as much as his audios.

Then the Praxian froze, his optics brightening with stress as he stared down.

Even though his chassis was perfectly still, his features flickered between fear and confusion. His EM field rippled, licking at Jazz's with remembered pain.

Pressed up against like he was there was no way Jazz could miss the change- the fear and the confusion and pain. It was the last that started him, made him step back mentally, hands still as he frowned.

::Easy. Easy.:: He murmured over a comm, searching for what had brought about this sudden change in a mech that had been so willing just moments before.

The comm was enough to snap Prowl back to reality and the Praxian looked down. "Important to you?" he asked unsteadily.

::Important to me that it feels good to ya.:: Jazz answered, still as he continued to study Prowl, watching as he calmed quickly and relaxed against the mech under him. ::Only that.::

"I don't enjoy valve play," Prowl said softly. "The rest sounds very good."

::Whatever feels good to ya.:: Fingers moved to run lightly down an arm, meant to be soothing instead of arousing at the moment. Prowl's reaction was troubling. Sure, everyone had preferences, most of those created or reinforced by experience, but to feel pain just at the thought of such a common act? Something very bad had happened to the mech in his arms.

"Your voice, your hands, your chassis," Prowl squeezed lightly around Jazz's spike, encouraging it to full arousal once more. "Your field when you're running hot," he added with a line of licking kisses to Jazz's throat.

Jazz groaned. "Like all of that, huh?"

"Yes," Prowl's voice vibrated against Jazz's plating as the EM field entwined with Jazz's flared hot and hard at the sounds flowing through him like a living thing. "Love your voice, what it does to me when we're in private," the Praxian admitted with a throaty groan as he slid down Jazz's chassis, trailing a line of fiery touches in his wake.

::They wanna see us sometime, so ya know. Sides said-:: Jazz broke off when Prowl reached his spike. "Primus, Prowl, ah-."

::I overloaded. You did not,:: Prowl said smoothly as he took the spike all the way down in a single motion, closing his intake tightly against the tip and humming. ::You feel so good when you're running this hot, nearly at a loss for words.::

"Thought ya, liked it when-," Jazz struggled for words. "when I talked. Wings?" He managed to offer, raising one hand.

::That feels good to me,:: Prowl actually chuckled as he flared his doorwings out, then up and into the waiting hands. ::You feel good on the edge, hot, bright, alive.::

Even in his heavily distracted state, Jazz couldn't miss the glyph-variants. The denotation that 'hot' and 'alive' were unique to the recipient, something the speaker did not experience. It was something else to add to the list of things that troubled him when it came to Prowl. A list of things he was growing more determined to solve the longer he was in the mech's presence.

He caught the doorwings, teasing and stroking them in all the right places to excite the Praxian, to bring him to overload again when Jazz came, to-

-to try and give back some of the feeling he was being given.

Electricity crackled over both their frames, through their entwined fields, ricocheting back and forth, amplifying with each pass until both mechs were trembling, right on the edge of an intense overload.

"Want. Want-." Jazz reached, stretching for the place on Prowl's wings he knew would finish pushing him over the edge. "Want you to feel."

With a cry around Jazz's spike and fingers tightening around black hips, Prowl surrendered to the intense rush of energy through his systems. Jazz let go a moment later, the concerns and worries momentarily burn away under the rush of energy and release flooding him.

Sideswipe slipped into his youngest brother's quarters three full joors after the meeting he'd connived had dispersed, determined to distract the new lovers before they got going again. He didn't even try to suppress the grin as he took in the sight of his black and white sibling entangled with the youngest Praxian royal on Jazz's berth. It was adorable. It's was fairly hot to look at, and very hot to think how they got so disheveled.

It explained plenty about why his comm hadn't been returned yet. Their armor was still pinging as it finished cooling. It was good that Jazz finally had a lover who could distract him so well.

Still, it would be good to get the conversation out of the way so they could get back to 'facing each other senseless. Maybe if he was quiet, they wouldn't ask him to leave.

Sideswipe snickered to himself before focusing on Jazz. "Hay, bro."

Jazz was denial. Someone was calling him, demanding his attention, however gently. But he didn't want to answer. He was warm, and comfortable, and tired.

But that good kind of tired, the kind where you were content with being that way.

"Jazz," that sing-song voice rich with humor that was the bane of his existence called out again.

"Go 'way. Not time yet." Jazz grumbled, still mostly out, just like a youngling.

Sideswipe laughed brightly and deeply, only quieting when doorwings snapped up and icy blue optics focused on him with a growl that was decidedly un-noble-like.

The growl brought Jazz most of the rest of the way around, looking from Prowl to Sideswipe. Without really thinking about it he wrapped an arm around Prowl's waist. "Sides? What are you doin'?"

"Came to get an answer about that comm I sent you over three joors ago," the red mech chuckled, watching as Prowl settled down without the least apparent concern for his state, that he was in another's berth or that mech's older brother was standing over them. "Figured I'd catch you before you distracted each other again."

Jazz, as soon as his processor finally caught up with his surroundings, cringed. The reaction was not from what he done, or the fact that he was still rather intimately tangled with Prowl.

No. It was the fact that it was Sideswipe who was standing over them, and Sideswipe who was never going to let him live this down. "We got 'em. Just..."

"Got distracted," the grin above the black and whites broadened. "I'm just here to make sure I get an answer before you are again."

"Yes," Prowl said simply.

Jazz looked at him. ::Did I miss a question somewhere?::

::The comm. He asked if we were willing to have tests run to see if my ... condition ... can be understood, or at least controlled.:: Prowl responded.

Jazz vented softly. ::And I'm supposin' since you're here they're wantin' us now?::

He listened for his brother to answer, but his gaze was locked on Prowl, studying the mech. What Prowl felt about what was happening was a question Jazz wanted answered. One he was belatedly realizing should have possibly been answered before they had let it go this far.

"Well, the sooner you two talk to the docs, the sooner you can be undisturbed until Prowl goes home," Sideswipe pointed out reasonably. "You really do make an adorable couple."

Prowl shifted his gaze to Jazz. "You have a private wash rack large enough?"

::Should work. Or I'll wait 'till you're done.:: Jazz answered reasonably.

"Why don't you clean up, Prowl. I'll keep Jazz entertained until you're done," Sideswipe waved towards the washroom door. "Want a servant to help?"

"Thank you, but I'll comm my own," Prowl told the red mech as he almost reluctantly extracted himself from Jazz's berth. He'd forgotten how nice it was to recharge with another. "Cleaning a Praxian frame is a specialized skill."

Jazz watched him go, glancing at his door with a brief flicker of annoyance. ::I guess one of us will 'ave to let his servant in.::

"Don't worry, I will. You can cover up," Sideswipe winked at him as they both watched Prowl walk to the door and disappear when the door closed behind him. "He is a looker, and you two do look good together."

For a moment Jazz just glared. Then the glare died down into confusion and worry as he collapsed on the berth. ::I don't like strangers in my room.:: It was childish, a cover for the swirling emotions pulling at him.

A gentle touch on his shoulder let Jazz know his brother knew exactly what was really going on.

"I know, but you can't blame him for being cautious who he lets near those wings. He's just trying to not get hurt. Now, was he as good as it looks?" Sideswipe purred. "And you can drop the comm. You know he can't hear."

Jazz leaned into the touch, asking for the comfort if his brother was willing to share.

"Yes. No. It's wrong." His voice was still soft, a whisper, though it gained strength at the end.

"Wrong?" Sideswipe cocked his head and sat on the edge of the berth, exactly how he did when he was a young mech and Jazz only a youngling struggling to make sense of the world and his place in it.

Jazz leaned against the red mech, taking a minute to focus. "To get your pit spawned curiosity satisfied and outta the way, the mech is good. Good with his hands. Good with his mouth."

"Which means there's a story in what you aren't saying he's good at," Sideswipe said almost gently, stroking Jazz's sensory horns gently, a touch meant to sooth rather than arouse. "Probably an unpleasant one involving a former lover."

"Be the best guess. Someone hurt him. Hurt, bad." Jazz shivered and leaned closer. "And now I'm a new mess in his life."

"Maybe, but you care about him," Sideswipe smiled, only to sigh and go silent when a servant pinged for admittance. "Be right back, little bro," he promised as he stood, careful not to jostle Jazz too much and went to the door. He glanced over his shoulder to make sure Jazz was covered as much as he wanted to, then opened the door to a prim looking Praxian femme of sky blue, soft cream and silver with a striking white chevron. "In the washroom," he motioned towards the interior door, belatedly noting that she had a small duffle of supplies, most likely special ones from home.

She nodded and all but glided across the room, inclining her helm to Jazz before the washroom door opened to admit her, then closed again.

"So, it's a mess," Sideswipe began at he sat down on the berth again. "Could be worse. It's not like you're bonded or sparked, right?"

"Shouldn't be." Jazz answered, leaning into him immediately. "Sometimes I listen when ya talk. No sparks since the first time. And I..."

At the moment he wasn't sure how to put into words his feelings for Prowl. About Prowl. On one level knew the mech intimately. On another level, he knew nothing.

"You're starting to feel protective of him, starting to see him as a person," Sideswipe said with a soft smile. "That's not a bad thing, you know. It's a good start to falling in love."

"Only if it's returned." Jazz whispered, barely loud enough to be heard.

"Ah, little bro," Sideswipe rubbed his sensor horns. "Remember, love has to be made and the place to start is caring. So you care about him. Just give him a reason to care about you by being yourself. If you both want it, you've got a good chance. I've looked into him and he's not a bad match for you if you two decide to go for it. If not, you'll have really good 'facing while it lasts."

"Maybe." Jazz agreed, allowing the word to be a universal answer.

Sideswipe chuckled and rubbed his helm affectionately. "You'll see, little bro. I'm not wrong about these things."

Jazz just grunted and they both fell into a semi-relaxed sort of silence until the door to the washroom opened and Prowl stepped out. His plating now gleamed as flawlessly as it did when he'd been introduced to the family. His servant hadn't just cleaned him, but done a very respectable job of detailing him given the lack of proper facilities for it.

"Thank you for the use of you washroom," Prowl said formally, his servant the Praxian-proper arm and a quarter behind his doorwing's back edge.

Jazz nodded, studying Prowl for a minutes as he ignored the strange servant still present in his room. Sideswipe was right. Prowl certainly did clean up well, much better than Jazz did when he was simply Jazz. Just another reason for later...

He shook off those thoughts for the moment. ::Welcome. Meanin' it's my turn, I'm guessin'.::

"Yes," Prowl inclined his head, torn between escaping while he could with some face and staying to face Jazz's older brother. Something he would have to do soon if he intended to keep Jazz for himself. Keeping Jazz meant courting Jazz and that meant winning over his family as much as the mech himself. They were both younger creations, outside the expected line of succession, but they were still both royals of powerful city-states.

In the few sparkbeats it took to choose and Jazz to disappear into the washroom, Sideswipe studied Prowl. The red mech hid his smile while the Praxian waved his servant to leave and faced him squarely.

"I intend to court Jazz when the doctors are done with us," Prowl said firmly.

"Good to know, seeing as he's my little brother I'd rather not have to hurt you for breaking his spark." Sideswipe answered. "Thinking like that though, a little quick for someone you've known less than an orn."

Just because he liked him and thought they would make a good match didn't mean he was going to go easy on him, at first. If Prowl could answer to his satisfaction though, the mech might find himself with a very valuable ally.

"You are well aware of the affect he has on me," Prowl answered, his voice as even and calm as the carriage of his doorwings. "That is reason enough to court him. I admit I have not had the time to learn how Protihex handles courting. However, in Praxus it was designed for those who were promised to each other to form a strong relationship before they bonded. The first stage is to learn all about the other."

"Good start, so long as the two of you can spend time together without you jumping him at every turn." Sideswipe had no reason to believe his creators would refuse the arrangement, so long as Jazz was willing to go along with it. The fact that Prowl seemed intent with going about this the right way would help matters on all sides.

"We have learned that as long as he uses a comm line I do not have the ... unusual response," Prowl said a bit stiffly. "While it is not optimal, it is functional until a better solution can be found. We can communicate as easily as any other couple, as long as we are careful."

Sideswipe nodded easily, the inconvenience annoying but completely functional. One more question before he either started helping the mech, or tossed him out of his brother's quarters on his head. "And if someone else comes up?"

Prowl paused, giving him a curious look. "A little more context, please. For Jazz or myself? A royal, noble or commoner? Are they interested in one of us or is one of us interested in them?"

"Someone else that can do the same thing that Jazz does to you." Sideswipe clarified. He knew Jazz and Sirenis were one and the same, but this was uncharted territory from what everyone was telling him. He also understood the in's and out's of a normal relationship very well, should either of them stumble across someone else who caught their optic.

"It would depend largely on Jazz," Prowl's doorwings trembled visibly, nearly vibrating as they hiked into a tight V of distress. "It is something I intend to discuss with him before I leave. At a minimum we will have to come to an understanding of just how little self-control I have against it. If someone else can, and they approach me, it is very unlikely I will refuse even if I should. I have hope that these test will improve my odds of doing the right thing."

Sideswipe nodded slowly, content with that answer. Rising, he stopped in front of Prowl, facing the mech. "Jazz won't ask you to do something you can't."

Doorwings relaxed, though not completely. "It can still hurt him, something I do not wish to do," Prowl said quietly, then squared himself to look Sideswipe in the optics. "As long as I treat him well, do I have your support to court your youngest brother?"

"My support," Sideswipe allowed a small smile. "And any help I can offer along the way." His smile widened when Prowl let out an audible vent of relief.

"Thank you."

Sighing softly, Jazz wrapped his arms around the Praxian, mindful of the doorwings and still shivering occasionally from the last bits of energy from that last overload. The tests had been stressful for everyone involved, but especially for Prowl. The mech had been so worked up Jazz had barely had time to get him somewhere private before dealing with the problem.

Slow fingers trailed down white arm plating as he thought. The medics' conclusions, what they had been discussing between themselves, was lost on Jazz. What was painfully fresh in his processor was how much he affected Prowl, and watching him undergo the tests.

A soft hum as Prowl's systems came back online and Jazz stilled. ::Better?::

"Yes, thank you," Prowl murmured, nuzzling him affectionately. "I'm glad we made it to your rooms."

::Me too.:: Jazz continued to stroke the smooth plating of the Praxians frame. ::That couldn' been comfortable. I'm sorry.::

"It is not your fault," Prowl reminded him. "These tests, as unpleasant as they are, will provide me a way to have a normal functioning." He reached up to lightly trace his fingers down Jazz's chest plates. "I have spoken to Sideswipe, but I would have your answer before I take it to our creators." He shifted up to look Jazz in the visor. "I would court you, to get to know you fully, if you permit."

Jazz froze, visor dim as he considered his answer. His fingers resumed motion long before he answered. ::I'd like that, long as it is somethin' you want.::

"I do," Prowl said firmly, leaning in to kiss Jazz in relief. "Tell me a little about yourself? What you want in a bonded?"

Jazz shook his head, resisting the urge to laugh. A bonded? That had been low on his list of things to consider lately. He really had no idea, except...::Someone I can trust. Someone that'll stand beside me. Someone who loves my family.:: There was a slight bitterness there on that last part. ::Thank ya again, for the other night.::

"Mmm, someone who shares interests?" Prowl suggested. "Who you enjoy spending time with?"

::That makes any relationship better. Thinkin' it be important in a bondmate.:: Jazz glanced around his room, his hobby and the key to his other life, his music, clearly evident. ::If I remember right it was my hobby that started this mess.::

"Mmm, yes, though we would have crossed paths eventually," Prowl pointed out, then hesitated. "Exclusive?"

Jazz was pretty sure he knew what Prowl was asking, but to be sure. ::Exclusive?::

"Do you want your mate exclusive, do you expect yourself to be?" Prowl spelled it out.

::I, if I finda mate, I will be. For them...:: Jazz twitched, thinking of his recent conversations with Sideswipe. ::If ya love someone, ya love them for who they are, right?::

"Yes," Prowl said without hesitation, shifting to look Jazz in the optics again. "What you want and what you accept are not always the same. You want your mate to be exclusive, even if you accept that I may not be able to fulfill that desire."

Jazz nodded. He would not ask of someone more than they could give, even if it was a standard he held himself to.

Prowl shuttered his optics and lowered his helm to touch Jazz's. "There is one other whose voice affects me." He somehow kept his voice steady despite what memories of that night still did to him. "A commoner, a signer that goes by Sirenis."

Jazz went momentarily stiff, then forced himself to relax. ::And ya plan on seein' him again?::

"I arranged a meeting before I came here," Prowl sighed and settled against Jazz's side without looking at him. "The first time we met he refused me thanks to a chit from my carrier. I intended to pursue him, but now ... since you prefer I not have a plaything I will try and recruit him for these tests. The more data the scientists have the more likely they can find a solution so I am no longer a slave to it."

::A plaything?:: Jazz repeated, distressed for reasons that Prowl could not understand. But he wanted an explanation. After seeing what Prowl went through he could understand why Prowl would be driven to pursue his other identity, but if that was how the mech viewed those of lower social standing than himself...

"That's what Springer calls them," Prowl murmured. "A commoner you only want for your berth. Before you, there wouldn't be much fuss if I ended up liking him and wanting more. Now, everything's changed."

::Changed for the better?:: Jazz asked, wondering how Prowl was going to respond when he found out the truth. While Sideswipe and Sunstreaker were renown for their habits, Sideswipe had made it quite clear that they were always considerate of their berthmates.

Prowl was still for a moment, then flicked a doorwing. "Just changed. I only found out this affect existed a few decaorns ago. Now there are two, which means it's not a singular quirk and likely exists in others. It's no longer just one mech who sets off protocols I wasn't sure were even active anymore."

::What protocols?:: Jazz asked, covering up his discomfort at his continuing deception.

"Interfacing, physical desire," he answered quietly. "It's been a while."

Tilting his head to catch Prowls optics, Jazz reached up to trace Prowl face. ::What happened?::

"It's never been strong, not even when first installed," Prowl flicked his doorwing. "The lovers I've had haven't given me much reason to try and change it."

::Then ya ain't have very good lovers.:: Jazz commented, shifting to kiss Prowl gently.

::Perhaps,:: he nearly moaned across the comm as desire flared up, an unfamiliar thing as he sought to deepen the kiss. ::Or just not the right one.::

It was Jazz who broke the kiss, nuzzling at Prowl as he considered the mech's reaction. ::Maybe you've found him.::

::I can hope so,:: Prowl remained on the comm line, his doorwings trembling as he pressed them up and forward, silently asking for attention. ::I would like that.::

Jazz considered for a moment before reaching out, fingers playing lightly over one wing for the moment. He tipped his helm to the side when Prowl shifted to kiss him there and purred softly, simply enjoying the contact for a moment. But if this was all he spent him time doing, not that he didn't enjoy it, he was never going to figure out the rest of Prowl. He abandoned the doorwing, wrapping an arm around Prowl's waist instead. ::When are you supposed to be meeting him?::

::In three orns,:: Prowl settled into the light contact easily, his fingers and lips brushing against Jazz's plating without demand. ::Assuming he accepts the invitation.::

::Will ya stay until then, or do ya need to get back?:: Jazz asked, some of the tension he hadn't realized he was holding onto draining away with the contact.

::I will stay,:: Prowl murmured as his fingers slid over Jazz's hood. ::I will return when things are settled with him. I have very few duties to tend to yet.::

::Good. What do ya do?::

::I specialize in the statistical side of city finance, military tactics, investigative and Intel,:: Prowl actually had a touch of excitement in his voice. ::If it has to do with percentages and ratio of success, I will have some hand in it eventually.::

::Hm. An intelligent mech.:: Jazz tone was light and teasing. While he understood the importance of such things, dealing with them on a personal level was something he was much happier leaving to mechs like Prowl, who it appeared enjoyed such challenges.

::And according to most, a very dull one,:: Prowl chuckled despite the hurt. ::What are you training to do?::

::Not dull.:: Jazz countered instantly, instinctively. Already he had observed too much of the mech to believe that. Then he offered a little half shrug with his answer. ::My creators pretty much let me do what I want, right now, so long as I'm not in trouble. They encourage my hobby.::

::Mmm, what do you do with music?::

::I write. I play a couple of instruments, not well. Sometimes I sing. My hobby.:: Jazz repeated.

::Would you sing for me, sometime?:: Prowl asked softly, more than half expecting to be denied.

Jazz considered, actually wanting to share something that was so dear to him, and nodded. ::Of course. After this is all sorted out, or when ya don't care if it is. Just ask.::

Prowl smiled and shifted to kiss him softly, drawing the chaste kiss out as one hand slid along Jazz's hip. ::Thank you. Have you had many lovers?::

::A few, though I believe that ya are the first that has not been thoroughly investigated and generally tested 'fore being allowed my way. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker can be ... protective.::

::Similarly, though I usually do my own investigation,:: Prowl smiled faintly. ::Impact is the most protective of my kin, but it's Springer you need to watch out for. Once he decides he doesn't like you, he tends to be very destructive in the frontal assault manner.::

::I'll make sure to watch my step.:: Jazz commented, wondering exactly what Prowl had looked into concerning his lovers, if his experiences had been so bad. ::Though I'm still more afraid of your sister.::

Prowl actually laughed at that, a sweet, easy sound. ::Smart. Springer you'll see coming. Impact will catch you when you least expect it.::

::Exactly. And while I don't have much practice with sisters I've dealt with my fair share of medics. Some things are universal.:: Jazz marveled at the sounds of that laugh, leaning into Prowl at the sound as he made a private vow to bring it out more often.

::Mmm, there are two kinds of medics. She's the scary kind. First Aid is the sweet kind. If I ever have a sparkling, I intend to go to him.::

::Ya think ya'll want sparklings?:: It was a casual question, mere curiosity.

::Eventually,:: Prowl hummed thoughtfully. ::It is not an ambition in my functioning, but I believe it would be nice when I am older, established and stable in a bond.::

Jazz nodded in agreement, stroking, thoughtful.

::Do you ever perform?:: Prowl asked innocently.

::For my family.:: Jazz answered truthfully. ::A little here 'n there for charity stuff where a royal appearance makes a difference.::

The Praxian hummed thoughtfully. ::Any other hobbies?::

::I dance a little, and look after Serenity. But mostly it's the music.::

A low, heavy rev of Prowl engine greeted the thought of Jazz dancing. ::What style do you enjoy?::

Jazz smiled, amused. ::Whatever I feel like at the time. I never dance in public- Sere dosen' count.::

::No, she wouldn't,:: he agreed, his fingers playing over Jazz's plating with a little more intent. ::I'm planning to become a detective when I finish my statistical training, until the city needs me.::

The mech shivered but focused on satisfying his curiosity instead. ::A noble ambition. Will ya stay in Praxus?::

::That has been the plan. Courting you changes several variables. I am no longer sure.::

::You'd come to Protihex?::

::I would consider it,:: Prowl responded with a gentle kiss. ::Though I will eventually have duties in Praxus to tend to that I can not abandon.::

::Then maybe it's a good thing I've got nothin' tying me here.:: His family was here, and Protihex was the only home he had ever known. The only one he had ever wanted. But there were no responsibilities waiting for him, not like Prowl's.

::There is no reason I am aware of preventing us from having a residence in both cities,:: Prowl pointed out. ::I would be needed in Praxus one decaorn out of three, but the majority of the work does not require my presence in the city.::

::That would work well.:: Jazz replied, snuggling closer to the Praxian as Prowl reached up to caress his small, square sensor horns, exploring them.

Jazz practically purred. ::That works well too, by the way.::

::Good to know,:: Prowl smiled and kissed his way down Jazz's jaw to his throat as he continued to fondle the stubby horns. ::Why don't you tell me something else you enjoy?::

::Those seams you found last time? The ones right here...:: Jazz's hand traced down his own side, emphasizing several areas, now thoroughly distracted from whatever line of questioning he had been planning to pursue next.

Prowl smiled against Jazz's throat and moved one hand to follow Jazz's fingers, pressing into the seams to tease wires.

::Touch. I like touch. You. You like-:: "Words." Jazz finished, feeling Prowl's systems heat fast and his field lash out with intense arousal. "Though you still have yet to tell me which kind best."

It took several sharp pants for Prowl to gather his wits enough to respond. "Don't know," he finally moaned, trembling against Jazz's chassis at the sudden assault to his spark.

"Well, guess I'll just have to find out then." Jazz murmured, reaching up to trace Prowl's face. "The soft kind, where I tell you how beautiful you are. How handsome you are, " his fingers moved over the brilliant chevron, "how much I just want to kiss you." As he pulled Prowl down, actions suiting words with tender kiss. Prowl's mouth opened willingly against his, moans spilling from his vocalizer as he struggled to remember to continue touching Jazz.

"Nice, but not it." Jazz smiled when the kiss broke. "Commanding? Pleading? Begging?" He leaned in close to Prowl's audio. "Dirty?"

A full-chassis shudder rubbed Prowl against him with a tiny whimper. The Praxian was all but past thinking, only able to respond on a visceral level as he sought physical pleasure to go with the charge building in him.

Jazz pushed at him. "Over. Facedown."

The throaty sound that escaped along with immediate obedience was all Jazz needed to know he was on the right track. He also saw some definite signs of either a very strong fantasy or conditioning from a former lover in the way Prowl raised his hands over his head and held them close together.

The action was enough to make him hesitate for a moment. Then he moved, straddling the prone form, his target now perfectly in reach as his hands settled on the doorwings spread before him. "You." He started softly, fingers sweeping in the lightest of touches. "At my mercy. Trapped, while I do exactly as I please."

Past any true ability to think, Prowl could only arch into the touch, into that voice. The sensor-rich doorwings fluttered and pushed, rubbing against Jazz's hands when they didn't move enough.

"Feeling my touch. Feeling my voice." His hands ran outward over the smooth wings again before tracing the edges firmly. "Wanting more."

"Always," Prowl whimpered, his chassis dancing with electricity. His hands clenched and released, trying to find some self-control from the weight on his back and the certainty of the voice there.

Jazz's hands swept back in, pressing into the joints where the wings joined Prowl's frame. "Taking it all, to return later. Every word, every touch, to give back." He leaned down, pressing his lips to the sensitive surface, fingers still working on the joints.

Prowl cried out, his systems burning hot as he trembled and arched, his chassis crackling, sending jolts of energy directly into Jazz's penetrative interface module to dance along the housed spike and between the nodes of his valve.

Jazz cried out in reply, almost overloading on the spot when systems denied for too were long suddenly stimulated so strongly. His fingers twitched as he pulled them from the joints, pressing against the wings that pressed back, twitching to stimulate themselves until Prowl screamed his overload, pouring energy into Jazz where they touched.

The rush was enough to cause Jazz to loose his own fight for control, frame locking as he overloaded. He caught himself as the energy died away, barely avoiding falling forward on to the lax, barely on-line form under him.

"Love your voice," Prowl murmured, his doorwings twitching lightly in pure pleasure.

::Love the way you respond to it.:: Jazz answered, falling back to the comm almost by default, moving off the mech carefully before burrowing in beside the Praxian.

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 6: In a Single Orn?

The door was never locked to her. Not since that first morning she had discovered she could slip past her caretakers and her brother had been the one to find her. It opened immediately to her touch, like it did every time.

Jazz had not come to see her last night before she had fallen into recharge. Which meant this morning it was time for their game. She would let herself into the room and sneak across the open space, all the time avoiding waking the light sleeper sprawled on the berth. Slinking across the floor she smothered a giggle with difficulty. This morning her brother hadn't even twitched in recharge.

Leaping onto the berth she squealed triumphantly.

All hell broke loose.

Something that was decidedly not her bother's frame rolled under her, shoving her roughly forward to sprawl across her brother's faceplates as he woke up. But it wasn't the bright blue light coming on under her hand that had her full focus, it was the scream that came from the form rising up, too wide to be a mech and with white pinpricks for optics.

For an instant Jazz was sure he was caught in some sort of awful projection in his own processor. Then two fields slammed into his own, one of excruciating pain and one of absolute terror.

Just as he got those sorted out his sensitive hearing was assaulted by noise that hurt so bad he wished they would short out. Fighting through it he forced reality into focus and tucked Serenity against his side before turning most of his attention on Prowl as the Praxian all but flattened himself against the wall on the far side of the berth.

Prowl's cries had subsided to pained whimpers, and now Jazz could hear the pounding of footsteps as everyone in hearing came running. Doorwings were trembling, held up by the wall, but one was sagging down at an unnatural looking angle and Prowl was trying to coordinate through the pain enough to bring it to a better angle. He didn't really know how though, and it showed.

Jazz reached out, wanting to make it better, to make the pain stop, but pulled back with the realization there was nothing he could do that wouldn't most likely make matters worse.

::I'm sorry.:: he whispered , looking at Prowl as he slipped from the berth, Serenity still cradled his arms, and opened the door to the two guards, those nearest. Half to his surprise Springer was right behind them, even though the guest quarters were in a different wing of the palace.

"Flaming Pits!" Springer snarled when he got a look at his youngest sibling across the room. He shoved the guards away, barking orders at them and over his comm as he landed on both knees on the berth right in front of Prowl and caught him. Harsh sounding words in a lower Praxian dialect got Prowl to hold still so Springer could reach around and reset the doorwing.

"Jazz," Springer looked over his shoulder to glare at the younger mech. "Your berth, you come hold this in place until First Aid gets here."

Jazz obeyed, studying Springer warily. He nudged Serenity to a corner of the berth that would place her brother between the youngling and the irritated Praxian before approaching.

::Where should I hold?::

"Here," Springer placed Jazz's hands and closed his fingers to the right pleasure. Then the big green and yellow mech backed off to sit on the edge of the berth, allowing Jazz to be close to his quietly whimpering lover. "What happened?" he asked them all.

"Don't know," Prowl's voice wavered even as he leaned forward and rested against Jazz as best he could. "Woke up from the shock."

::It's my fault. I'm sorry.:: Jazz repeated, hesitantly resting his helm on Prowl's shoulder. ::The door doesn't lock against her. She, she's used to waking me. It's a game. She didn't mean to the hurt anyone. To hurt you.::

"What ... happened?" Prowl asked, his voice barely loud enough for Jazz to hear.

::She jumped on the berth, meant to jump on me. I guess she landed on your doorwing,:: Jazz reached up with his free hand to stroke Prowl's helm, encouraging him to rest against him.

"Youngling ... did this?" Prowl didn't sound like he believed it.

"Didn't mean to," Serenity blurted out. "Sorry."

Prowl looked over Jazz's shoulder at her. "Just ... don't do that again." He said painfully. "At least not when I'm here."

She nodded quickly, optics flickering between all thee mechs present in the room in turn. Jazz sighed. ::Let me call Sideswipe. He'll take her.::

Springer nodded, optics and face hard, but he didn't reprimand the youngling.

The red mech appeared quickly, displeasure evident on his features. He stomped in the door, prepared to lay into Jazz, and stopped still as he took the in the scene.

Jazz cradling Prowl, supporting the injured doorwing. Springer seated on the edge of the berth, looking like he wanted to kill someone and denied a target. Serenity in the corner, Jazz between her and the rest of the room in an attempt to make the youngling feel a little more secure.

He crossed the room. "Come along, Little Bit. Let's get you some energon."

The youngling nodded and crawled into his arms, grateful for the rescue and her large brother's protective presence.

Jazz watched them go, relieved when they were gone even though he knew from the look that Sideswipe gave him he was going to have some explaining to do later. He wanted to apologize again, to do something, even though there was nothing he could do until First Aid got there.

The medic arrived, passing Sideswipe at the door. By the time it shut the mild mannered physician was cursing brightly and rushed to the berth. Quick hands made adjustments Jazz couldn't follow, pinching wires and shifting soft metal, and suddenly Prowl was out like a light against his lover.

"The youngling landed on it?" First Aid's voice was gentle.

Jazz stayed still, unwilling to move and potentially do more harm. ::Yea. It's her way of sayin' good morning. I- there's never been any reason to discourage her b'fore.::

The Praxian's physician nodded, humming softly as he worked to patch and support the injured doorwing. "Given the joor, I advise laying down and allowing the patch to set while it's resting on you for support. He should be able to move without pain within a joor, but if you can keep him still for two it would be better. The damage is more painful than serious. Nothing was torn, merely dislocated and stretched."

"I'll keep him still." Jazz promised, still feeling guilty over the entire thing. "How long until he comes around?"

"From what I did, a breem. Hopefully he'll remain in recharge for several joors until the patch has completely integrated.

Jazz nodded and settled back on the berth, allowing First Aid and Springer to position Prowl on his front next to him with the injured doorwing draped over Jazz's abdominal plates.

"Just stay like this?" Jazz looked at First Aid, who nodded.

"When he comes around, he'll move it a bit, to test its condition," First Aid explained. "Let him. If there is limited discomfort, it's safe for him to get up. If he is in pain, have him lie still and place this on the joint," he handed Jazz a small packet of gel. "His chassis heat will melt the patch and numb the area. Please comm me either way."

"Will do." Jazz said, accepting the packet and placing where it would not start to melt but was still in easy reach in case it was needed. "Anything else I need to watch out for?"

"Energon leaks or sparks," First Aid said easily. "It is very unlikely, however if you see or smell either, call me immediately."

"I'll keep watch." Jazz promised, hand gliding over Prowls helm, an attempt to assure himself that the mech was going to be all right more than anything else.

"He will recover fully," First Aid assured him gently before standing. "The damage is more painful than serious. He has done far worse to himself learning to drive."

That made Jazz pause, and he filed away to ask the mech about it when the setting was more appropriate. "Thank ya."

"It's like getting your spike smashed," Springer said gruffly as he stood to follow First Aid out. "Hurts like the pit, but no real harm done."

Jazz cringed at the idea. He really did owe Prowl some sort of apology if that was the case. His thoughts in a jumble, his emotions worse, there was no recharge for Jazz as he lay still next to his lover's warm chassis, the injured doorwing laying lightly across his lower chassis. He didn't really pay attention to the time as it passed, only noting when First Aid's effort would have worn on and Prowl would be in normal recharge.

Prowl's chronometer pinged him that it was time to rouse, but the first thing to cue up was a message from First Aid that he needed to recharge until he felt ready to rouse. It didn't take much for the dull ache in his right doorwing to tell him why he had that message and he promptly cycled down again.

Two joors later he began to power up. With no ache, his processors only half on line, he twitched his right doorwing, testing it for warnings. When nothing came up, he half-reluctantly finished booting.

Icy blue optics came on last, taking why was the warm chassis next to him, supporting him.

Gentle fingers paused from where they were stroking his face as his optics came online, and a concerned voice came across his comm.

::How ya feeling? Pain?::

::No pain,:: Prowl responded as he was contacted out of habit. ::A mild warning to avoid transforming for another joor. It's a little stiff. Nothing serious. It will be fine by the time breakfast is over.:: A faint pause. ::Is Serenity okay? The entire event is rather fuzzy. I think Springer was here?::

Jazz relaxed some, fingers resuming their slow journey as he addressed the questions. ::She's very upset that she hurt ya, and a little frightened of your brother now, but other than that she's fine. Sideswipe came and got her 'fore First Aid got here to set ya right. Springer left after First Aid said it was up to ya to sleep it off, pretty much.::

He hesitated, before offering, completely sincere. ::I'm sorry.::

::It's not your fault you don't have company here often enough for her to know to check,:: Prowl murmured, content to remain where he was for a moment, then shifted to sprawl partway on top of Jazz, much as they had been during the night. ::Not in a way I could take offense at anyway.::

That earned him a true smile and a gentle kiss. ::Thanks.::

::I hope she's a fast learner though, and this will not happen again?:: Prowl looked at him, more desperate hope that sternness in his features.

::I'll talk to her.:: He assured Prowl, then hesitated before offering. ::And...I can change the lock, on the door.::

Prowl thought about it, then nodded. ::I'd appreciate that, at least while I'm here.,:: he murmured, nuzzling his lover. ::How long before we're expected somewhere?.::

::I'll change the lock.:: He'd figure out a way to explain it to Serenity later. ::I need to comm your physician and give him an update like he wanted. Dunno if he'll wanna look ya over again or not, but I know Callback would one of us. And then I'm sure they were expecting us for breakfast, but in light of the circumstances ya'd probably be excused for not showing up.::

::I'll be fine,:: Prowl gingerly stretched his doorwings.

::Would you like to comm First Aid, or should I?:: Jazz asked quietly. ::And if we wish to join everyone for breakfast, a joor or so. If not I can have some brought here. I do not believe I have any obligations for the day.:: None other than seeing to Prowl.

::I have contacted First Aid. My family will wish to see my condition for themselves,:: Prowl's comm managed to carry his bemusement at it. ::Breakfast will be easiest. Otherwise they'll drop by at random,:: he added with a playfully seductive purr. ::I'd rather have my time with you ... do you think you would visit Praxus soon? I would enjoy showing you the gardens.::

::I don't have many obligations, and I'd like ya to show me the gardens.:: Jazz had seen a bit of the gardens before, but he had the feeling it would be a whole different experience with Prowl. ::And I'd hate to be interrupted later if goin' to breakfast will keep people outta my room.::

::For the most part,:: Prowl chuckled and stretched up to steal a tender kiss. ::First Aid will no doubt want to check me in the evening, as will my sparker.:: He slid his fingers across Jazz's hood. ::It might make your little sister feel better too.::

::To see ya up and about and not angry with 'er would be great.:: Jazz leaned into the touch, relieved.

::Then we should clean and touch up,:: Prowl murmured, soaking in the warmth of a welcoming frame against his. ::Just because everyone knows what we have been doing does not mean I wish to advertise it quite so blatantly.::

Jazz smiled. ::Agreed. Sideswipe would never let me live it down. Would ya like some help?::

::If it will be you helping me,:: Prowl murmured, stealing another kiss before he shifted off Jazz so the mech could get up.

::That was the idea.:: Jazz followed him off the berth and heading for the washrack, catching Prowl to steal a kiss of his own on the way and found the returned kiss ghost across a sensor horn.

A light, strong hand ghosted down Jazz's backstrut.

"No matter what, not a sound from you," Prowl purred against the sensitive nub, playful and teasing. "Or we'll never make breakfast."

::Is that a challenge?:: Jazz shot back, shivering at the touches.

"Absolutely. Along with actually getting to breakfast on time," he chuckled, giving the sensitive stub horn a lick as Jazz reached into the large stall and turned the solvent on. "I like it hot."

Jazz changed the setting accordingly, agreeing with the temperature but mockingly protesting the treatment he was receiving. ::Not fair.::

Suddenly he was wrapped in strong arms, nuzzled on his neck and drawn flush against a frame whose EM field reached out to envelope him in the affection Prowl felt for him. It also pulsed in time with a strong spark nearly in synch with his own.

"No, but fun," Prowl purred as he guided Jazz to step into the shower. The field against his own, smoothly weaving into it, was rich with affection different from any he had felt before, deeper and more welcoming. "If you want to play."

::With you? Always.:: Jazz responded, admitting the fact to himself as much as Prowl as he instinctively reached for Prowl's back and just caught himself, hands settling to trace the seams along the mechs sides instead.

"Mmmm," Prowl shiver at the touch, the sensations of the field against his, the promise in the words and the falling solvent that pattered on their armor. "Tell me a fantasy," he nearly moaned.

Jazz leaned in, nipping and nuzzling at Prowl's neck as he considered for a moment. ::You. Sleek and shiny because you're wet.::

Hands playing down Jazz's sides, Prowl's engine revved softly. "That I am."

::Against a wall.:: Jazz added, hands and mouth insistent. He felt the intense spike of arousal hit Prowl's EM field before the mech moaned softly and complied, pulling his lover along as he splayed his doorwings wide on the hard, smooth surface.

Light fingers brushed over the too tempting doorwings before returning to tease Prowl's sides, wandering downward as Jazz captured his lips in a demanding kiss. ::As I tease ya, torment ya. Drive ya mad with want, with need.::

Prowl whimpered and surrendered, his field telling the same story of desire as his chassis. Oh, he wanted very much. This demanding lover triggered things in his programming he didn't fully understand, but did enjoy.

The kiss was broken as hand slid over Prowl's interface covers, teasing. ::And you talking to me, telling me you want me.::

With a shudder Prowl's helm tipped back and he moaned, his interface covers sliding open just at that light touch.

"I do want you," Prowl gasped at the warmth of the solvent sliding over the sensitive components, stroking his arousal higher. "Want you more than anything I've ever known."

Fingers rushed in to circle the exposed valve, sudden boldness a match for Jazz's need, flamed by the access he'd just been granted for the first time.

A throaty whimper and flicker of distress flashed between their fields. Prowl trembled, his voice stolen for the moment, but he shifted, spreading his thighs, then leaning back to slide one lower leg up Jazz's.

Despite the uncertainty evident, the offer couldn't have been more clear.

In dynamic contrast to the desire flaring through him Jazz's fingers were gentle, testing and searching. ::Taking. Joining, wanting it like I want it.::

With a soft keen that was half despair, half desperate want, Prowl rocked his hips into the touch. His entire chassis trembled, his doorwings shaking hard against the shower wall.

"I ... I can't," he finally managed, his body in direct odds to his words. "Can't like pain."

Jazz froze, staring at Prowl in shock and hurt and pleading. ::No pain. Wouldn't hurt you. Ever.::

"It always hurts Jazz," Prowl murmured as he brought his helm forward, resting against Jazz's forehelm gently as his hands ran down Jazz's sides. "It's just what it's like."

Jazz shook his head, quieting Prowl with a kiss to buy himself a moment to try and think, as much as his systems argued with the idea. Prowl let him, his hands stroking his lover gently, his leg still hooked around Jazz's, their chassis close together.

::Trust me.::

Request. Question. Pleading.

Prowl nodded against his helm. "I do."

Jazz kissed him, fingers moving once again to tease Prowl, cautious but determined. He could feel it in the other's field, the desire to please, but the valve wasn't responding. There was only the thinnest sheen of lubricant when he dipped the tip of his finger into the too-tight passage.

::Trust me.:: Lips teased at Prowl's mouth, moving to his neck, free hand seeking places that Jazz already knew felt good. It wasn't difficult. The mech was all about feeling good and his chassis was primed for it.

::Relax.:: Jazz instructed, as his field flared into Prowl, his own state of arousal teasing through it.

"Am," Prowl shuddered with a heady moan, his helm tipping back. His doorwings trembled, nearly vibrating against the shower wall.

::Here.:: Jazz caressed the valve edges. ::Want ya as wet here as ya everywhere else. ::

A deep shudder passed through the Praxian as he moaned. "You ... do?"

::Yes. Wet, dripping, wanting.:: Jazz encouraged, nipping at Prowl's neck.

The mech shuddered again, a whimper escaping him as he delved into his own code, searching for the commands that would do what his lover wanted. He'd only ever found them once, back when he was a new mechling just learning how to interface. That had been to turn them off.

::Easy. We have time.:: His fingers continued their slow dance, teasing arousal from his lover's frame as Prowl struggled to find key sequences long forgotten.

Jazz felt the flare of triumph in Prowl's field less than a nanoklik before his fingers felt the distinctive slide of new valve lubricant.

::Perfect.:: Jazz purred across the comm, pressing against Prowl and radiating approval. He felt his lover melt into the approval, the deep desire for it despite the continued uncertainty about what he'd been asked to do.

A deep keen was torn from Prowl's vocalizer as he felt properly slick valve nodes caressed for the first time.

::Good.:: Fingers delved deeper as Jazz finally got the response he had been seeking. More lubricant oozed out around the invading digits, easing their passage, but no matter how slick it was, Jazz was under no illusions that this was going to be easy. The mech was tight and only clenching tighter.

He shuddered, imagining how the tightness would feel around his spike.

Prowl venting picked up, blowing out air hotter than the solvent raining down on them. His leg, still hooked around Jazz's, tried to pull the mech forward as his hips rolled into the invading fingers.

"Please," the Praxian gasped, his processor remembering the game. "More, deeper. Take me. Please."

Jazz bit back a moan of longing at the words, spike slipping free as he stole another kiss. Holding back his own desire he worked on his lover.

He had promised.

Prowl bucked his hips, moaning. "Want to feel you in me, prove you're different, prove she's right," he trembled shamelessly. "Prove this is special beyond your voice."

Pushed beyond fighting it Jazz grabbed Prowls hips, steadying them both as he pressed the tip of his spike against the waiting valve. ::Mine.:: He groaned, the slickness was there, and Primus Prowl was tight for a larger mech. Prowl's leg pulled higher, hooked across Jazz's aft and pulled him forward to sink fully into his valve.

A tiny sound of pain slipped from the Praxian, but so did a much deeper moan of pleasure.

Jazz shivered at the sound, hands moving stroke Prowls sides as he let that settle before moving. He wouldn't last, he knew. It felt far too good. He had to make this good for Prowl. Even if the mech didn't overload from it, he had to enjoy it. He gritted his denta as he slid out, nearly to the head, and plunged back in.

This time when the valve clenched it was even slicker and Prowl moaned shamelessly, not a trace of pain in his voice or field.

::Wanting it like I want it.:: Jazz repeated. He was at least going to try. ::Overload with me.::

"Feels ... good," Prowl nearly whimpered, as surprised as he was anything. Yet there was nothing he held back. He'd been prepared for pain, the way it always was for the one receiving in his experience. If turning on defective code could make it feel this good, he was never going back.

::Supposed to feel good.:: Jazz told him, pushing his overwhelming pleasure at Prowl as he moved in that wonderful tightness. He could feel the responses, good responses, in Prowl's valve as sensor nodes rubbed against each other, separated only by the conductive lubricant. It was exquisite, and so were the throaty moans and shudders Prowl offered up at his efforts.

"M-maybe for outsiders," Prowl moaned, almost lost in the sensations. "My wings. Stroke my wings."

Jazz needed no further urging, reaching out to play with the captivating doorwings that still intrigued him no matter how much he was allowed to touch and manipulate them. He'd barely gotten going, just a couple sweeping caresses along the length, before Prowl keened sharply with the overload threatening to overwhelm him.

"Harder!" Prowl begged as much as demanded, his doorwings pressed into the touch as much as they could and his valve ripping around the spike sliding in and out so smoothly. His fingers curled into the sensitive seams near Jazz's hips, desperate to overload, for the intense high that came with a lover's energy mingling with his own in the moment of intense, blissful pleasure-pain.

Jazz pinned his lover against the wall, hands sweeping over the wings to tweak the edges as his lips sought Prowl's mouth, claiming that and finding Prowl's just as demanding of his. His field rippled, slamming into the Praxian as their hips ground together, claiming the rest of what was his. Prowl's field rippled in reply, thrusting into Jazz, seeking his spark, trying to meld with that energy and modulate itself to mesh perfectly.

One last stroke of his doorwings top and Prowl crashed over the edge, crying into Jazz's mouth as their glossa warred for dominance. His valve squeezed tightly, arching jolts of electricity to Jazz's spike.

Hands slipped from wings to wall as Jazz braced himself, driven to his own overload with no reason to hold back any longer. Later he would be grateful that Prowl was braced already and the mech was holding his hips, but in the moment all Jazz could think of was the intensity of the pleasure that swept through him.

He refocused on reality an indeterminate time later to the feeling of being upright with strong arms supporting him and the tender touch of lips against his.

Fingers trailed down Prowl's frame, simply wanting to prolong touch as Jazz answered the kiss with his own, full of thanks and content from the warm glow suffusing every inch of him.

::That was amazing,:: Prowl murmured over their private comm.

Jazz tipped his head so he could look into the Praxian's optics, searching for something, very recent memories of a willing Prowl coming into focus. ::Good.:: He nuzzled Prowl's neck, arms tightening around the other mech as the rest of reality came back into focus. ::You were amazing.::

Still entwined EM fields conveyed Prowl pleasure at the statement. Only after a lingering moment did Prowl slid his leg down Jazz's, shifting the angle of his hips and sliding Jazz's spike most of the way out of him.

"Clean up?" Prowl asked shakily, the need to keep control of himself as evident as the difficulty he had doing so.

Jazz stole another quick kiss before reluctantly releasing Prowl. ::If ya still intend to make breakfast clean is gonna have to double as presentable, I think.::

"Perhaps a little better than clean, and a breem late," Prowl countered, stopping himself from stealing a kiss he knew would lead to more.

Jazz nodded in agreement, allowing himself a small smile as he found a scrub and approached Prowl.

Sideswipe nudged his golden brother as a grin spread on his features. "Well, well, look who managed to get up," he called to the two black and whites cheerily.

Jazz was too content to be irritated as he walked in beside Prowl, scanning for an open space that would allow him to sit with his lover as he responded good naturedly to his brother's comment. ::This coming from the mech who would still be recharging any normal orn.::

::I believe he's more impressed that we got out of the berth, not that we woke,:: Prowl chuckled on a private line, nudging Jazz towards two seats that had been kept open between Sideswipe and Impact. "I know that look. We sit with her or she'll grab wings."

::True, but I don' have to give him that point.:: Jazz allowed himself to be steered that direction, taking the seat beside his brother and 'accidentally' elbowing the red mech. ::And if she is goin' to be grabbin' ya can sit by her. She might hurt me after this mornin'.::

::Unlikely,:: Prowl chuckled.

"Hi Jazz," Bluestreak spoke up from a couple places away. "I heard you and Prowl will be courting? Is it true? And what is the deal with all the comm-talk? It's odd, you know."

Jazz glanced at Prowl, Bluestreak not actually being his brother and not entirely sure how to respond to that.

"Yes, it is true," Prowl responded with the calm coolness his family was used to, but not a single Praxian in the room was fooled. His doorwings gave him away completely. "Jazz is using the comm because I asked him too."

The older mech blinked a couple times. "Oh, well I guess that's cool. Have you talked to our folks yet? You know, all that political fun about who's bonding into which clade and all. Even as far down as you both are, it's going to matter a lot to the Prime and Council."

All optics were on the black and white pair now, those in the know curious to see how they would answer and those who didn't know what was going on just curious.

"No, we have not spoken to either of our creators," Prowl indulged his sibling with the skill of long practice, ordering his breakfast confections of choice from the servant to came to serve the cube of gentle midgrade. "We intend to before I return to Praxus."

Sideswipe elbowed Jazz, careful not to upset the energon his brother was holding, but it was a close thing. "You going back with him?"

Jazz glared at him, though there was no actual anger behind the action. "Not right away, but he's asked me to visit."

He winced at the hard rev of the engine next to his and the quiver of white doorwings. Prowl's field reached out to stroke his, refueling forgotten for the moment as icy blue optics focused on him, glowing just a little brighter than normal.

::Sorry.:: The switch back to comm and the apology were quick, Jazz struggling to remain calm as Prowl's field brushed his. While he was starting to become very fond of a revved and needy Prowl, he doubted giving the mech reason to jump him in the middle of breakfast would go over well with their creators, intentional or not. Fortunately Prowl was trying to keep calm as well, and after locking his focus on his energon cube for a klik he'd managed to settle down again.

"That is why," Prowl said quietly to Bluestreak, his voice even, though his doorwings were still rather tense.

"You weren't kidding." Sunstreaker commented, studying the reaction he had only heard about from his twin. "That was barely a full sentence."

"It only takes a couple words," Prowl mustered his focus, pausing as his confections were delivered, along with Jazz's. "Or extended humm."

Jazz filed that admission away for later use as he started on his breakfast.

"Too bad we can't figure out how to make that work on a target basis." Sunstreaker commented, mostly to Sideswipe.

Prowl snapped his doorwings, something that caused his kin to snicker.

"Might not want to try that, unless we want to find out how much trouble he's capable of inflicting," Impact smirked. "And I think most of us would help."

"Don't want to use it on him. Jazz can have him." Sunstreaker replied, but turned away, dismissing the matter.

"Good," Springer nodded, but his optics were on his brother, watching doorwings carefully as they settled. Then he focused on his brother's lover. "So, Jazz, are you hoping for sparklings soon?"

Jazz twitched, staring at Springer and wondering if there was some hidden agenda behind the question. Instead he reached out to Prowl over a private comm. ::Should I be concerned?::

::No, he is merely attempting to find a better subject. In our family, sparklings are considered such,:: Prowl responded with a soothing undertone.

The tension drained as quickly as it had come.

::Eventually.:: He echoed Prowl's response to the same question. :: No reason to rush, I'm thinkin'.::

"No, but no time like courting to figure it out," the big triple-changer grinned. "They'll be adorable, regardless of who carries."

"Yes, they will be," Prowl actually purred softly. "But not for a few hundred vorns. How are things going with that pretty little mechling you want? Hot Rod?"

"We are doing fine. His sparker is less sure about it," Springer grumbled. "Seems I'm more militant than he wants for his precious sparkling."

Jazz worked his way through his energon slowly, listening to the gossip and occasionally making a comment here and there. He did look around for Serenity, spotting her down at the other end of the table.

Jazz sighed softly, physically contented as the overload charge began to dissipate from them both. He half-wondered how someone with so little possible experience could be so good with their mouth, and at the amazing effectiveness of hands on doorwings, but now that the charge had been bled off his processor turned to other thoughts. Questions that had been building since he'd first brought Prowl to overload the orn before.

Could it really be less than a single orn?

Thoughts cut off again as Prowl stood and kissed him, letting him taste himself in his lover's mouth. The mech did love to kiss, and Jazz couldn't object.

But when their mouths parted, he focused on what he wanted to know and guided Prowl to a plush loveseat in the library/entertaining room of his suite.

As soon as Prowl was seated he settled himself around the mech, nuzzling at the mech's neck affectionately. ::Good for a bit?::

::Yes,:: Prowl murmured, tilting his helm to give Jazz better access. ::Not that I can seem to get enough of you.::

::Mutual mech.:: Jazz purred against him. ::Like to talk for a bit though, while we've got some time to ourselves.::

::Of course,:: Prowl shifted away a bit, giving himself just a little space from Jazz's all too enticing touch.

Here Jazz hesitated, two things on his processor, one safe enough and one potentially not so safe as he settled more on the couch.

::This morning...:: He twitched, changing his mind at the last nanoklik. ::Bluestreak seemed kinda surprised you were plannin' to ask to court me.::

::It's been generally accepted that I wouldn't bond, even if pursued,:: Prowl chuckled. ::What did you really want to know?::

::That obvious?:: Jazz vented, leaning his helm against Prowl's shoulder. ::This morning, was it so bad?::

The overload in the washroom that morning had been the most intense that Jazz had experienced, and he thought it had been the same for Prowl. Still, there was something troubling him.

::This morning was amazing,:: Prowl reached up to stroke Jazz's helm. ::I never thought stories could be so accurate.::

Jazz shivered. ::Never before? No one ever tried to make it good for ya? Outsiders- what did ya mean by that?::

::No, it's never been anything but painful for the one being spiked,:: Prowl said patiently. ::Non-winged frametypes. Non-Praxians. From what I've gathered, interfacing preferences are very different from those without wings.::

Jazz thought about that, trying to understand, and just couldn't. ::No wonder ya didn' want to.::

::Yes, I was not expecting anything like what you have come to expect,:: Prowl murmured. ::It is still very odd to think of it like that, as good as it felt.::

::Will feel.:: Jazz murmured hopefully in return, relaxing and letting his processor start to wander to other things.

::Will feel,:: Prowl confirmed. ::It still doesn't seem quite fair, but if you enjoy it I can't object.::

Jerked back to that topic Jazz looked at him. ::What isn' fair?::

He'd enjoyed it. Pit, more than enjoyed it. But he wasn't going to ask Prowl to continue to do something that was going to cause him discomfort. They would find a way around it, or, if he forced himself to be brutally honest, they might not last long enough for it become an issue.

He nudged at Prowl. ::You can always object.::

The Praxian ducked his head and looked away, his doorwings twitching. ::I don't want to. It feels good,:: he mumbled, audibly embarrassed. ::You have to do all the work. Especially when my wings are facing you.::

Jazz shook his head, leaning in to Prowl looking for answers. ::Loving you is never work. And I like your wings.::

Doorwings trembled and Prowl's head ducked down a bit more. ::I've noticed,:: he whispered, shivering before he looked over, bent down and kissed Jazz softly, chastely, undemanding. ::What did I do to deserve you?::

::I'm thinkin' Primus took pity on us both.:: Jazz answered, because he certainly hadn't done anything worthy of the mech currently kissing him so wonderfully.

When he wasn't rejected, Prowl's hand slipped up Jazz's leg, playing lightly along seams as his glossa slid across Jazz's lips.

One thing at a time, and Jazz focused on the kiss being offered. Prowl did this well, better than well, and he was going to make this round last a little longer, if he could. His lover didn't seem to mind, and the hand trailed upwards, teasing Jazz's sides while their glossa slid along each other.

He leaned into the touch searching for more. ::Want?::

::Always, with you,:: Prowl moaned in anticipation. ::What?::

::Berth.:: Jazz answered, his own hand teasing over Prowl's interface cover, both their engines revving hard when it clicked open without hesitation. ::Take me.::

Prowl's intakes nearly stalled, his entire chassis froze and optics went wide. With their fields so well meshed, Prowl's uncertainty-fear washed over Jazz.

It sent a shiver through Jazz, but instead of pulling away he leaned closer, looking Prowl in the optics. ::I trust you.::

The Praxian shuddered and drew away, pulling Jazz up and into a hungry kiss before drawing him towards the berthroom. ::All right. Will ... will I hurt you?::

::Do ya plan on tryin' to hurt me?:: Jazz didn't believe for a second that Prowl was, reaching around to ghost a hand over what he could reach of a doorwing on the move.

::No, I don't want to hurt you,:: Prowl said firmly, their hands exploring as they made their way to the berth. Only then did Prowl let go, the uncertainty creeping back it. "Umm, your preferred position?"

Jazz hopped on the berth, facing Prowl, and held out his hand in invitation. ::With ya? Let's find out.::

A moment of hesitation and Prowl knelt on the bed, looking to Jazz to take the lead. What little Prowl knew about spiking a mech didn't seem to apply anymore.

With a reassuring smile Jazz relaxed onto his back, spread his legs and drew Prowl down on top of him.

Tension was still evident in every inch of his frame, but his lover's confidence took some of the edge off and Prowl ran his hands down Jazz's sides, falling back on the safe and familiar. Gentle black hands caressed Prowl's sides in return, then trailed down the white frame to glide over Prowl's spike.

::Feel,:: Jazz gentle took one of Prowl's hands and slid it down his chassis, over his pressurized spike and to the flexible rim of the slick valve. ::This is the feel of a valve ready for you.::

Prowl whimpered softly, circling the valve for a moment before pressing a finger inside, primed for a negative response from Jazz despite the reassurance. Instead he received a deep moan as his finger slipped in easily, coated thickly with lubricant as it moved.

::Yes, you're not going to hurt me,:: Jazz resisted the urge to rock his hips into the too-light contact but let the pleasure flow freely through his field and into Prowl's. ::Can you feel the nodes, the harder spots in the lining?::

The foreign pleasure brushed over him, easing more of the tension. "Yes..."

::Those,:: Jazz shivered and moaned unabashedly when one was rubbed by an inquisitive finger. ::Those are sensor nodes. They send the most intense jolts of pleasure. Your spike will brush against them all at once when you're fully seated.::

Prowl brushed against another one, pressing harder, encouraged by the sounds the simple action pulled from the mech beneath and from simply knowing. The rush of pleasure across their fields and needy whimper from Jazz was encouraging. So was the deep azure blue of the mech's visor.

"Prowl," Jazz breathed out, his voice barely a whisper but more than enough. ::Please. I want to feel you inside me. I want to feel you overload in me, the rush of your transfluid. It feels so good.::

The single spoken word was a jolt of energy through his systems, the words over the comm a pale contrast but enough so that he pulled his hand free, surging upward to kiss.

He wanted to obey, wanted to sink into the warm heat his finger had just been exploring, but he hesitated still, spike hovering at the entrance of that slick valve.

"Please," Jazz gasped into the kiss, his hands reaching up to stroke doorwing top edges as he trembled. ::Please. I need ya. Ya won't hurt me.::

Too much. Prowl pressed forward, moaning at the pleasure coming at him from every side. It was good, very good. Different from what he was used to, not as intense, but still very good. "Want you," he gasped between their mouths as he slowly sank all the way in.

::Ya have me,:: Jazz shuddered in pleasure and spread his legs further, angling his hips to take Prowl as deeply as he could. ::So good, lover. So very good.::

Prowl stopped, just feeling for a moment. Jazz, against him, under him, encouraging, loving. He drew back to push in again. The slickness eased his way, smoothing it. The heat conveyed was intense, even more than a mouth. He claimed Jazz's mouth, moaning as their glossa caressed and he drove into that slick valve again. It would take longer than usual to overload, but he couldn't find it in himself to object. Jazz felt so perfect against him, around him.

When the rhythm settled Jazz brought his legs in a bit and wrapped them around Prowl's, locking them together and gently guiding the younger mech's thrusts and strength.

"So good." There was wondering coloring the pleasure. Pleasure that radiating from every point of contact through mouth and hands and fields.

"Yes," Jazz cried out, wanting to share his pleasure, to use that control his voice gave him to heighten Prowl's desire. "Harder. Sooo good."

What control Prowl had was shattered when Jazz spoke and he grabbed the mech beneath him, holding onto hips as he did with others and driving in with everything he had. He buried his face against Jazz's exposed neck and bit down with a moan. It wasn't hard enough to draw energon, but it was enough to make the mech under him tremble.

The taste of power wound tendrils through Prowl's processors, driving him forward with a nearly blind lust. Electricity danced between their frames, bright and hot. Arched between valve and spike as Jazz cried out wordlessly.

As silent as the Protihexian had been in the shower, he was shamelessly loud now.

The sounds only served to drive Prowl harder, farther, closer to overload so much faster than he had thought possible. A very small part of him still managed to remain focused on Jazz, reaching for the mech through the charge building to unbearable levels between them.

Without resistance, Jazz threw his helm back and keened, the power of his overload roaring through him and into his lover at every point where metal touched metal, but especially through the conductive lubricants between their legs.

Prowl's cry of ecstasy joined his lover as his transfluid spilled into Jazz, no defense strong enough to withstand their combined pleasure.

Optics whited out along with processors, their chassis on autopilot to complete the act and the ecstasy when neither mech was capable of thinking of it. When they began to come around again Prowl was lying at Jazz's side, arm draped across Jazz's abdominal plates.

Jazz purred softly, the sound so gentle it was more a vibration than a sound as he curled into the Praxian, already slipping into recharge.


Chapter Text

All or Nothing 7: Parting Ways

Prowl was torn as he walked next to Jazz to the landing pad of the royal palace of Protihex. He was very eager to return home, to return to what he understood, to the safety of knowing every mech he came in contact with. Yet he was also reluctant to leave Jazz and the processor-blowing, perception-expanding time ... and interfacing. Oh, he would miss interfacing with that voice caressing his spark.

::Ya'll let me know when I can visit?:: The Protihexian royal asked quietly, matching the mech beside him step for step. As much as he wanted a return to normal for a while, he wasn't entirely sure what normal was anymore. Not when he had grown so used to the Praxian being constantly at his side.

::Of course,:: Prowl actually purred. ::I look forward to it. I expect things will be settled enough within the decaorn.::

::I look forward to it. And that tour of the Gardens ya promised me. ::

::There is nothing in the empire like it,:: Prowl promised as Jazz stopped by his family and Prowl took the few additional steps to join his. ::Just as there is nothing in the empire like you,:: he purred, twitching his doorwings before flaring them, then sliding the three normally locked panels apart to splay them. As Jazz stared at something he didn't even know could happen, Prowl fanned them, undulating the three sections a total of four times in rhythm before locking them together once more.

It took a poke to his side to make Jazz drag his attention back from the doorwings to the ice blue optics of the mech they belonged to, not even bothering to look at the red brother who he was certain was silently enjoying a laugh at his expense. ::I hope so.::

::Ooo, he likes you, little bro,:: Sideswipe's teasing comm pinged him. ::Praxians don't do that for just any lover. He really is publicly courting you.::

Jazz stood a little straighter, surprised and very pleased with that little bit of information. He was defiantly going to have to corner his brother later and drag everything the mech knew about Praxians and winged frame types in general from him. But for now Prowl was still here, for at least as long as it took the rulers to finish exchanging formalities.

And he couldn't actually say a word to the mech.

But now that he knew what that little display meant, a glance at Prowl's siblings showed varying levels of approval; from the nearly giddy look the twins had to the thoughtful private smile Impact wore to the guarded consideration on Springer's features.

Then the leaders were done and the Praxian contingent turned to board their shuttle and were gone.

Only when the shuttle was out of sight did Jazz feel a tension drain from him he hadn't even noticed was there. He turned to address Sideswipe and just caught himself before he opened a comm line, looking away in sudden embarrassment.

"That's going to take some getting used to," Sideswipe said in the moment, surprisingly non-snarky.

"Yeah." Jazz agreed, still a little thrown at the sound of his own voice. "It is. And the funny thing is, I'm not sure I wanna get used to it again."

"Why not? You've always loved your voice," Sideswipe focused on him as the family drifted apart.

Jazz's looked in the direction the shuttle had taken for a moment, sighing. Because when he could talk it meant Prowl wasn't nearby.

"You'll see him soon. He was only here for three orns," Sideswipe pointed out and patted Jazz on the shoulder. "Anything else gnawing at ya?"

Jazz twitched at the touch, trying to sort through the mostly foreign feelings. "I just don' like him being so far away."

"Come on," Sideswipe moved his hand to the center of Jazz's back. "I've got some good homebrew with our designations on it. We have some talking to do." Despite the seriousness of his tone, the EM field that brushed against Jazz's was full of sibling affection and concern.

Jazz finally allowed himself to be led away from the landing pad. What Sideswipe was proposing would hopefully go a long way in easing his processor, and Jazz knew from past experience that enough of the mech's homebrew promised, if not a good recharge, at least one he wouldn't remember.

"Don't be so glum," Sideswipe patted his shoulder. "It's not like you're going to be separated for long."

"You're right." In fact, he was going to be seeing Prowl sooner than the mech probably realized. That was something it might be worth picking his brothers processor for ideas on how to handle the situation as well.

Nearly a full klik passed, about halfway to Sideswipe's quarters, and the red mech sighed. "Do you have any idea how creepy you are this quiet? It's not natural."

"I-sorry?" The thing was, Jazz had no idea that he was doing something that was disturbing his brother. He was distracted, and it seemed so natural now to just not speak.

The red mech just shook his head. "It's okay. I guess three orns really can change your perspective a lot, hu?"

Jazz considered. Three orns in with almost non stop contact with Prowl had definitely changed his perspective on a great many things. Things that he had been sure about now seemed inside out and backwards, and with a few notable exceptions, he was confused on just about everything.

"Is it that strange? Is there somethin' wrong with me?" He looked to his brother, seeking comfort, answers, something that would make the world at least a little more right.

"For who's in it, nah," Sideswipe shook his head. "It's kinda weird for the rest of us though. It's a lot of change to take in when you didn't live it."

"They don't approve?" Far more bothered by this idea then he liked to let on. While Jazz didn't necessarily require his family's approval, but he was close enough to his creators and his siblings that it was something he valued.

"Hay, little bro, no making weird leaps on me, okay?" Sideswipe's voice was chiding, but his field brushed against Jazz's with real concern. "No such thing. But you did go from chatting freely to barely speaking overnight. Concerned, a little. But I haven't heard anything against you and Prowl other than concern at how fast it seems to be going. I don't want you hurt, Jazz," he said quietly before palming open the door to his suite.

"It's not like we're gettin' a lot of choice in the matter." Jazz said, flinching away and on the defensive. From where he was standing he had more choice in the matter than Prowl did, but still.

"Whoa, relax," Sideswipe held his hands up, open and spread. "No need to be defensive here. I'm on your side, and so's the family. I just never expected all this to happen when I pushed you towards him." He looked down a bit. "I'm kinda responsible, you know. You'd have never fragged him if not for me."

"Might of, eventually." Jazz replied, accepting the apology and offering one of his own. There was no reason to treat the mech, his own brother who was just trying to help, like this. "Glad you did."

"Come on, let's get that homebrew, get comfortable and talk," Sideswipe smiled and motioned Jazz to follow him into what would normally be a library, but was now definitely an entertainment room. "I'm sure you want some info before we get too overcharge to remember much."

"That would probably be a good idea. Not that I don't like the sound of the other at the moment." He flopped into a chair and watched as Sideswipe gathered two cubes and a large decanter of swirling green-white high grade.

The red mech brought it over, sat down and poured two cubes, handing the first to Jazz in silence before seeing to his own.

"So, what can I tell you first?" Sideswipe offered.

Jazz studied the high grade, taking a sip to settle his systems and his thoughts into something manageable. "That thing he did with his wings, before he left ... what was that?"

Because Jazz could still see it clear as though the mech was still standing before him.

Sideswipe hummed, putting together the best explanation he could before speaking. "It's a courting display. Separating the segments is the equivalent of 'look at me, this is important' to everyone in range. The sound would have caught the attention of every Praxian, whether or not they turned to look. The fanning motion," he still had to pause to think of a good explanation. "Praxians are a very visual frametype. Like fliers, they are very keyed into frame language, far more than we are. That fanning motion is kind of equivalent of a deep, passionate kiss with groping, but without the interfacing links. It's a claim, a challenge, a dare to anyone to contest that you are his to court. A display that he's willing to fight for you. Like I said, it's serious."

Jazz shivered and took another drink of the high grade. "So he is serious then."

"Very," Sideswipe nodded. "Here's the thing about Praxian courting, at least for nobles and royals. Culturally, they're pretty big on arranged bondings even if it's not practiced all that much anymore other than with second creations. What they call courting, we'd call making friends and getting to know a mech. It's not binding. Either side can break it off with no social ill will. Well, no more than normal when you break up with somebody who has hopes for you."

A thoughtful hum was the response as Jazz considered this. So even though Prowl was serious now, he could pretty much walk away any time he wanted and consider it normal. Fine. Jazz could deal with that.

"You've spent quality time with winged frame types..."

"Definitely," Sideswipe purred deeply, his engine revving. "And so have you now. What caught your attention?"

"Do they really have different interfacing preferences?"

A low hum and smile greeted the question. "To an extent, yes. Most prefer positions where the sensor-side of their wings is facing their lover, if they have different levels of sensors. Prowl does. The side facing back has a good ten times the sensor load of the side facing front. It'll vary though, depending on personal kinks. Some are more attached to wing stimulation than others, some really want to see their lover more, or kiss."

That bit of information was run against what Jazz had observed himself, confirmed, and filed away for later use. "Anything else useful I should know?"

"Other than that, it's a fairly normal frame. He'll have hot spots unique to him. The chevron is a likely one; it's usually a comm system. It's really a matter of exploring, something you'll have plenty of time to do, I think," Sideswipe grinned cheekily.

"So anything spike or valve related would be a personal preference?" Jazz inquired, obviously hesitant.

"As far as I know," Sideswipe was suddenly very focused and a bit tense. "Why?"

"Remember when I said I thought someone had hurt him? Sideswipe ... he thought that valve interface always hurt. He was convinced it was supposed to be painful." The words came out in a rush, Jazz desperate to have it in the open.

The tight-jawed, grim look on Sideswipe face was something of a relief. "I heard rumors last orn when I was digging, but of an entirely different take. He thought it should hurt him?" He asked, needing to be sure.

"He thought it would hurt whoever was being spiked." Jazz clarified. "He was sure I was going to hurt him, and he was afraid he was going to hurt me."

"Makes me wish Crisp Wing hadn't extinguished in that crash," Sideswipe grumbled. "No wonder his clade's so protective of him. Impact and Springer make me look like a wuss when it came to vetting you the last three orns. I doubt they're done either."

"What?" Jazz was thoroughly confused now, though in his defense he had been rather distracted.

"Crisp Wing was Prowl's first lover, the one who taught him that," Sideswipe tried not to growl. "His clade didn't find out he'd hurt Prowl until it was well over with, but I don't think they actually know the full extent of it."

"I don't think they did." Jazz still didn't think that he did, Prowl's emotions and reactions still clear in his processor. "What...what else did you find out?"

Sideswipe sighed and slumped in his chair, taking a long swig from his cube. "Among the pleasurebots, he's known for being aggressive and a mild sadist. He likes a nearly dry valve, though he's not known for anything more violent than shoving them against a wall to frag'm. Now I'm pretty sure it's just because that's what he was taught, but it's unsettling to hear."

Jazz depleted his own supply of high grade rather severely before speaking again as Sideswipe refilled his cube. "I don' think he really knew anything else." He offered a small smile, "And Impact and Springer thought...?"

"They know his tastes, but I don't think they really know the cause. They definitely know that Crisp Wing hurt him, though," Sideswipe sighed. "The two lovers he had since, not that either lasted long, were normal, but Prowl flat out refused to do penetrative with them. They wanted to make sure you weren't the kind who would encourage his 'bad habits' as they phrased it. You're the first that's gotten anywhere close to Prowl without metacycles worth of investigation first. Pretty much the same thing I do for you, but a lot more pointed. They're pretty aggressive about making 'bad choices' go away too. So far they like you."

The high grade was starting to set in, Jazz decided, since he had to fight down a laugh as his brother finally admitted something that everyone had known but never openly acknowledged - that all of his lovers had been carefully screened by one, if not both, of the twins.

"I don't think I'm encouragin' the old ones. Might be teachin' him some new ones though."

"Knowing you, that's a good thing," Sideswipe smiled. "So how'd he take it? Getting spiked, spiking you."

Jazz finished off the second round of high grade, setting the empty cube aside before answering. "Getting spiked, once I could convince him to relax and that it was a good thing if he was wet, well, I'm not usually late to breakfast."

"Good," Sideswipe smiled. "Probably did him a lot of good, and I'm not talking about the overload I know you made sure he got."

Jazz shivered. That had been a very pleasant morning indeed, and very educational.

"And when you laid yourself out for him?" Sideswipe prodded.

"It was...intense." It was certainly the first time Jazz could recall loosing consciousness during interfacing. Without thinking he his hand reached up to rub the place on his neck where Prowl had bitten him, frowning a little.

"Intense is good, usually," Sideswipe's optics followed Jazz's hand. "What went wrong?"

"Nothin' went wrong."

"Your faceplates and hand say otherwise, little bro," Sideswipe pointed out. "Something didn't go well at any rate. What did he do?"

"Not wrong." Or at least Jazz wasn't convinced it was necessarily wrong. "Just different. Not used to biting." He admitted.

A frown crossed Sideswipe's features now. "Did he draw energon?"

"No." Jazz moved his hand away, turning his head so his brother could see. Knowing fingers slid along the nearly-healed injury before Sideswipe nodded and retreated to his chair.

"It sounds, and feels, like he wasn't trying to hurt you," the red mech said quietly, evenly. "It's surprisingly common for mechs to bite when they're close to overload, or there. If you don't like it, you need to tell him. It might not be something he can control, you both just have to be careful where his mouth is when he gets close. It might be something he enjoys though. Pleasurebots wouldn't even think to mention something like that, not with the dry valve thing going on."

Jazz nodded, understanding even as he rubbed at the spot again. In Prowl's defense he had been pushing the mech rather hard, deliberately setting him off with his voice. A thinking Prowl might be very different.

"Now, What else did you learn about him?" Sideswipe grinned and sipped his energon. "I know you did some talking in the last three orns."

"He's smart. Very smart." Jazz grinned back, catching the lighter mood and teasing his brother a bit. "He actually has a working position at home, and plans for the future."

"Well now, that is different for a royal, even a younger one," Sideswipe smiled and relaxed. "What does he do, and want to do with his functioning?"

"Stats. And he has ambitions to be a detective." Jazz contemplated for a moment. "I'm not sure the mech can go without somethin' to keep him busy."

"Not a bad thing," Sideswipe purred. "Especially with your hobby. He can't exactly travel with Sirenis, not if you intend to keep your cover ... unless Sirenis is going to be his concubine while Jazz is his Intended."

Jazz frowned, a lot of his relaxed good mood evaporating with the resurfacing of that problem. "I don' know. A lot...a lot depends on what he does when he finds out."

He could see it going a number of different ways. He had seen many aspects of Prowl over the last few orns, but reliably predicting how the mech would react to something like this would take vorns of learning, if it ever happened at all.

Sideswipe hummed and sipped his energon. "Want a refill?"

"Please." Jazz shoved the cube at him, sighing. "That would not be my first choice."

"What would be?" Sideswipe asked as he handed the full cube back. "Your best case scenario?"

From the way he felt right now? Anything that ended with him being with Prowl. Instead he took the cube and helped himself to a long drink as he thought.

"I'm not sure me keepin' Sirenis is an option. I'll have to be a lot more careful if I do. And if the idea is going to upset Prowl it's not worth it. I can give it up..." Jazz sighed thoughtfully.

"Back up, little bro," Sideswipe locked optics with him. "Start with a plan to tell him. Whatever happens, do not let him find out from anyone but you. He's got some very good mechs doing some hard looking at you right now. They'll find out."

Jazz waved a hand. "I was going to tell him when Sirenis went to see him. As soon as we were alone. I won't torture him like that."

Much of the tension melted from Sideswipe's frame. "Good. Since you aren't much for recharging in random berths as Sirenis or yourself and you're careful about having those chits since Crystal City, he'll probably be reasonable about it. But that's a conversation to have with him."

"He may, he may not. I'll just have to see. And see what he does once he finds out that there aren't two mech's having the same effect on him. That's sure to have some impact on all those tests that they put him through."

"Probably help his stress level too, not thinking that every mech he meets might do that do him," Sideswipe nodded. "I can't imagine how stressful that is, to be afraid that everyone you don't know could have that kind of power over you. And face it, most wouldn't be at all hesitant to use it to get in his berth."

Jazz flinched, not having considered it in that light before. "Least he won't have to worry long. Sirenis leaves next orn."

"Yeah, it'll be an interesting meeting," Sideswipe nodded thoughtfully. "It'll tell you a lot about him. Especially if Sirenis comes on to him."

"Ya think he should?" Jazz asked quietly, since that had not been in his plans.

"As amusing as I'd find it and informative it might be for you, I'm not sure it's a good idea," he admitted. "Prowl could take it the wrong way easily, like you're playing with him and abusing the power you have. Though if you kept quiet, never used your voice and just offered to 'face him now that it wasn't going to be by force, it'd tell you a lot and not come across too badly."

"Ya think I should test him?" Jazz concluded, not sure how comfortable he was with that idea.

"I'm saying you could," Sideswipe countered. "It depends on how much you trust him, how much you trust whoever you have that's going to watch him and how important it is to you to be sure he's faithful."

Jazz groaned, reaching for his highgrade. Who was he going to have watch Prowl? Was it even worth that? "We talked 'bout that, a little. I'd like him to be true, and he told me he'd try, but no promises." He looked at his brother squarely. "And I didn't ask for any."

"Then don't test him, don't tempt him," Sideswipe said seriously. "If you don't need to know, don't bring in potential hurt."

"It'd hurt either way." Jazz pointed out, a bit of logic in his growing fuzziness.

"But not as much as using Sirenis to see how far he can be pushed just before he finds out Sirenis is you," Sideswipe shook his head. "Seriously, go, listen to whatever he wants to tell Sirenis, then show him who Sirenis is."

He finished off the last of the highgrade, studying the empty cube for a minute. "Thanks Sides."

"Want to get overcharged here, or in your quarters?" Sideswipe offered as he lifted the decanter of homebrew.

"Here?" Request and answer. If Sideswipe was serious Jazz would rather not be alone for the recharge cycle.

The red mech just nodded and topped off Jazz's cube. "Then drink up. I'll see you in a berth here when you pass out."

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 8: A Meeting of Truth

Impact hovered down the hall from the suite her creators shared. Prowl had been closeted in there with them most of the morning, and she had a pretty good idea of what was being said. What she could not be sure of was how her brother was going to take it, and what he was going to decide.

For all that Prowl acted far older than his actual vorns, deep inside there was still a young spark, one easily injured and prone to jumping into something with all the typical eagerness and wisdom of youth. She wanted her brother to be happy and healthy, wanted him to live a life of his choosing, the privilege of being a younger royal. If Jazz was the answer to all of that she would be delighted, and help her brother move stars and planets to win the mech he had fallen so hard for.

But before she did anything she needed to establish, for her own sake if nothing else, that this was what Prowl wanted, and that apart from the influence he could not defend against he was still thinking the same thing. The door opened and Impact stepped into the shadows, waiting for Prowl to emerge, hopefully alone. She watched their creators each kiss him on the center of his chevron, and the embarrassed quivering of his doorwings at it, before he turned to leave and they returned to their suite, probably to talk more.

That left Prowl, walking on autopilot as he processed the last several joors, alone and easily captured.

"So spill." She instructed, stepping from the shadows to walk beside him as he passed her, oblivious.

"Mmr?" Doorwings twitched at her appearance before the processor attached to them caught up.

Prowl was very distracted.

"I believe you know all the pertinent points," Prowl looked at her, his pale blue optics troubled and tired.

"Not from your perspective, little brother, and that is the important one right now." Slipping from healer to the mode of older creation caretaker that she had not used in quite a while Impact shepherded him down the hall. "Refuel, I think. Recharge. And talk. The last two in whichever order you decide, but the first one definitely first."

"And just in case you were considering it, recharging before you talk will not get you out of talking." She added, taking the liberty of opening the door to his quarters herself and waving him in.

"Yes, sister," he murmured, less resistant than he'd been in hundreds of vorns. "Though it all comes down to a single fact; I do not have enough facts to do more than I am doing. I am doing my best to learn about Jazz, the things that are not public knowledge. Sirenis has accepted my invitation to talk with Lord Crystal's chit to protect him. Then I will speak with Jazz once more, though the holo-comm so we can speak and see each other without his voice affecting me."

"Sit." Impact pointed to a chair and the energon she already had waiting. Good mildgrade and some of her brother's favorites to tempt him into refueling. Once he was settled and she was sure he was going to listen the femme pulled up her own chair.

"That seems sound to me. So why the stress?" She asked once he was obediently well into the energon.

"The unknown," he sighed, shuttering his optics briefly as he sank into the softly cushioned chair designed especially for his frame. "My tactical computer has just enough to work with and not nearly enough to tell me anything useful. There isn't a single major outcome that can be ruled out yet."

With a deep x-vent he reached for an oxidized copper confection, allowing it to dissolve on his glossa and savoring it despite his state.

Impact sighed, sympathetic. If she knew her brother, he was going to worry at the problem until he drove himself mad, even though there was nothing he could do without more information. Still...

"Can you satisfy yourself with planning responses for all of those outcomes and leaving it at that? At least then you might manage from real recharge."

"That's what I've been doing," he muttered, reaching for the energon cube. "I'm tempted to call First Aid for a sedative. Once I'm down, there is a 73.9778% chance I will remain in recharge for a minimum of six joors. Less than is optimal, but more than enough to function efficiently."

"Not in the state you're in." Impact countered. "If you still want one when we're done I'll get you one." She was also going make sure that everyone knew he was not to be disturbed until he woke himself.

Prowl merely nodded his acceptance and focused on refueling. He did need the fuel. He needed a long, quiet recharge with his tactical computer turned off. He needed more information as quickly as possible so he had some clue what to do.

"Did our creators say something that upset you?" Impact prodded gently. The more she knew the greater chance she would have of possibly laying some of his fears to rest and allowing him to rest more easily.

He x-vented sharply and stared at his half-finished cube. "They did not mean to. It is what I already know. I'm moving quickly. I don't know what is causing this response or anything about Jazz that would lead me to court him normally. I know I am possessive of him, very much like what I feel towards Sirenis, only tempered by his status. Courting him is merely a way to keep that under control while we learn about each other."

"So what are you afraid of? You won't like him after you get to know him? That you won't like him if the reaction can be controlled? He seemed to like you well enough."

Prowl hummed his consent to her statements, his optics on his cube before he drained it. Then in a move he hadn't done since he'd gotten his mechling upgrades he curled his pedes under him, slid his doorwings down close to his chassis, and brought the entire tray of confections to his lap as he curled in on himself.

"That there is no fix. That there are others out there. That even if my reaction to Jazz and Sirenis can be mitigated it won't help against someone else. That ... fixing this means I won't feel that again," he quivered at the memories and distracted himself with a treat. "I want to feel that, whatever Jazz's voice does to my spark. Just not every time he speaks."

Impact moved closer, reaching out to stroke Prowl's helm gently, comforting him like he was a youngling once more. They were all legitimate fears, some that she had no real counter for, because she was not the one facing them.

He didn't even hesitate to lean into the comfort, wanting it more than he dared to admit. "Jazz ... showed me things," he whispered, his entire frame trembling at the mixture of denial and blunt truth he had to accept. "Crisp Wing ... he's why you're so aggressive about screening my potential lovers."

It was all Impact could do to not freeze, to continue stroking her brother's helm soothingly, and some of the anger she felt at the mere mention of Prowl's first lover still came through in her voice. "Yes. We messed up, and you paid for our mistake." She moved closer to him, protective. "I'm sorry."

"He hid it well," he murmured, leaning into her comfort and shuttering his optics as he rested his forehelm on her shoulder. "How damaged am I, that even knowing what it should be like, enjoying what it should be, I still want what he showed me?"

Impact wrapped an arm around him, holding him close, trying to find it in her spark to answer him because he was her brother, and she would never see him as anything else. "What do you want?"

"To dominate, to hurt, but especially a dry valve to take," he answered with the kind of brutal, factual honesty that could turn the worst subjects intellectual when he wanted to. "Not so much with Jazz, but when I think about desires, that is always near the top."

Impact considered this long and hard, holding Prowl close as she thought about her answer very carefully. A small part of her processor also pointed out that it was a very good thing that the mech who had caused all of this was long gone and beyond her reach. Even better that he did not have more time with Prowl than he had. If three vorns could do this, she dreaded to think what hundreds ... or a bond ... could have done to her brother.

"What makes Jazz different?" she murmured against his chevron, trying to buy herself more time to think.

"Rank," Prowl answered easily, though it disturbed him the more he thought about it. "He's a royal. That desire is directed at those I rank."

"What else?" She pushed, hoping that wasn't all, that there was something else there to work with.

"It's the only difference I can think of," he admitted uneasily. "What I ... fantasize is directly linked to the other's status."

Impact hummed softly, trying to get him to settle again. She wanted him to recharge eventually, and getting him worked up was not going to lead to a peaceful rest for him. This wasn't anything she could really help with. She couldn't even answer his question. The line where interfacing preferences became damage to fix wasn't in her training. It wasn't even her field. She fixed chassis, not processors.

"Have you ever taken someone against their will?" she asked cautiously, desperately hoping she knew her brother well enough to know the answer.

"No," he shook his head sharply against her shoulder. "I came close with Sirenis, but I didn't. I pay the pleasurebot well when I indulge. Never have with a lover."

She hummed softly, considering that and the implications. That there was a level of detachment that was both comforting and disturbing, but the most important point was that he hadn't forced anyone. If it was going to happen it was likely to have already.

Impact eased the tray from his lap before it slid to the floor, laying it aside. "I heard you mention the Gardens. Planning to show Jazz around yourself?"

"Yes," a soft purr vibrated from his systems. "I want to see his reaction, show him that Praxus is a place he will enjoy spending time."

She chuckled, the sound approving as she teased him. "I have yet to meet someone who was not captivated by them. You plan to ensnare him even more."

"Of course," he chuckled, still snuggling into her. "Just because I agreed to keep a residence in Protihex with him doesn't mean I'm not going to try and convince him that he'd be happy in Praxus full time."

She hummed in agreement, processor wandering down that path.

"Arrangements could be made so that members of his family could visit as they pleased. Might make him feel the need to visit home less often. And protection would be provided for your doorwings." Impact teased, tweaking the edge of one very lightly.

"Mmm, maybe I don't want them protected," he purred playfully. "Not against Jazz at least."

"After that display you put on I don't think you can. His brother poked him hard and still didn't manage to get his attention." Her field rippled lightly along Prowl's, gauging his mood and state of relaxation. The results were pleasing, her brother finally starting to unwind.

A soft snicker escaped Prowl's vocalizer, a sign of both how tired he was and how much he'd relaxed in his sister's embrace. "He does have a thing for wings, and he's very good with his hands on them."

"Double lucky. Take advantage of that." She prodded him gently. "Still want that sedative?"

"Mmm, yes. I think I would. I do feel much better, but my tactical computer and logic center are still in overdrive."

"Up with you then, and to your berth while I find you one." She rose and pulled him to his feet. "Be right back," she added as he walked towards his berthroom. The slight sway in his step and flutter of doorwings in remembered pleasure weren't missed, and made her smile.

She could only pray that Jazz was as good in the long run as he was so far. He brother deserved some happiness, especially as the royal least likely to find it.

The sedative was delivered with specific directions. "Take it all. Do not fight through the effects if you start waking before it is done, just go back to recharging. I will come get you if anything happens that demands your attention. Understand?" She held just out of reach, waiting until he agreed before actually handing it over.

"Yes, Impact," he said evenly, already relaxed on the berth with his secondary systems powered down. "I do not want to go anywhere."

"Good." She handed it over and waited until the rest of his systems dropped into recharge before letting herself out. "Rest well, little brother."

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 9: Second Encounters

Sirenis stepped from the shuttle and looked around, calm and collected on the outside as befitted a seasoned performer. No evidence of fear showed in his expression as he waited correctly for a servant to come and guide him, everything about him perfect, from his appearance to his manners in a house that was not his own and far above his station.

Inside he trembled, battling demons that threatened to overwhelm him. He feared no physical harm, having requested and been granted the protection he always sought then traveling in the world of nobility. No, he feared for his spark, feared rejection from the mech that had done nothing but dominate Jazz's thoughts since the joor he had departed, despite the best efforts of his family and siblings to distract him. Not even Serenity had been able to turn his attention for long, much to the youngling's dismay.

"Honored Sirenis," a perfectly formed, flawlessly mannered Praxian mech of medium blue and white bowed to him. "If you would follow me, Lord Prowl wishes to see you now. He sends his apologies for the hurried nature of this meeting, and requests that you use only your comm to communicate while in his presence."

The barest flicker of surprise at the request, quickly hidden. "As the Lord Prowl wishes, of course."

That actually boded well, in a way. Jazz hadn't explicitly asked that Prowl not dally with commoners, which was what Sirenis was. He really did want to talk.

The path to Prowl's quarters was much the same as the first time he had walked it, but he was even more wound up. The first time he was merely facing a young Lord about to be refused. Now ... now he was facing a mech he was falling in love with, and about to show him a secret that could infuriate him.

"Lord Prowl," the servant bowed as they entered Prowl's study, a place full of both bookfiles and technology for entertainment. "Sirenis, as you requested."

"Thank you," Prowl stood from the specially built plush chair. "Sirenis, please sit." He motioned towards several chairs and couches about the room.

The musician hesitated for a moment, then bowed and selected a seat that allowed him a view of most of the room at any given point. It was a move that wasn't lost on Prowl as he sat nearby, offering a flask of fine highgrade for Sirenis to pour a drink from if he wished.

"Thank you for coming on such short notice," Prowl began, trying not to lean forward as he put his best manners on, trying not to think of the actual social status of his guest. "Have you heard about your Lord Jazz's courting yet?"

::Rumors, my Lord. Hearsay to be considered as such until proven otherwise.:: A polite answer, when facing someone who was part of said rumors and the speaker knew the truth of them.

Prowl nodded. "I am courting him, and yes, it is as lustful as I'm sure the rumors whisper. His voice does the same thing to me as yours does," his voice hardened a bit. "It goes directly to my spark, inflaming it."

Sirenis bowed his head. He could apologize, but it would be for something that he could neither help nor change. ::And so the Lord's desire I speak only through a comm.::

"Yes," Prowl settled himself. "I wish a clear processor for this, and your assistance. The effect is being studied in an effort to control it. I would have you part of those tests."

::I am of course willing to assist the lord however I may in resolving the matter.:: Sirenis answered quietly. ::I have no obligations pending save the one to perform here for the upcoming celebration.::

Prowl's doorwings twitched. "Yes ... you must forgive me for missing any event afterwards you are at," he said seriously. "I would rather not have a repeat of our first meeting."

::There is nothing to be forgiven, my Lord. I would rather my performances not cause anyone discomfort.:: More truth in those words than Prowl knew at the moment.

Prowl have a small nod. "Then Ditrim will show you to your guest rooms until the first test and see to your needs while you are here. You are my personal guest until this is settled."

Sirenis stood and bowed deeply. ::Many thanks, my Lord.:: Despite the obvious dismissal with the appearance of the servant that had showed him here, Sirenis hesitated, his frame nearly trembling. Suddenly he found the strength to gather himself and looked at Ditrim. ::Wait outside,.:: he ordered with far more authority than he should possess.

Despite that, the mech obeyed his temporary master and slipped out as silently as he had entered.

"There is something else, Sirenis?" Prowl raised an optic ridge at the musician.

::The truth, before it kills me. You know Sirenis is not my real designation.:: He forced himself to stand, to face Prowl and his own fear.

"Yes," the royal inclined his head. "Though I have yet to uncover your real one."

::At first I came because you asked. In the end I came to tell you.:: The mech vented sharply, focusing. ::Just...wait until I'm done before you say anything, please.::

With that Sirenis began to shift and change, something like a normal transformation but so obviously not. Parts shifted and disappeared, features altered, the sounds alone the accompanied some changes enough to set anyone watching on edge and obviously painful to the mech experiencing them. Finally the motion stopped, and another mech stood trembling where Sirenis had been as Prowl watched, stiff with shock.

"How?" Prowl whispered, trembling as well even as he stood and stepped close enough for their EM fields to mingle. "Jazz?"

The smaller mech nodded, field reaching out cautiously, full of fear and so very tired. ::Prowl...:: his voice drifted off when what he touched was relief so intense it had stolen Prowl's voice.

Suddenly he was in Prowl's arms, pulled against him tightly and kissed with a fevered passion that wasn't at all about arousal. He fell into the embrace, relieved and praying that what he was feeling was real, that Prowl wasn't angry with him. Didn't hate him. Wasn't going to reject him.

::I'm sorry.::

"Why didn't you tell me, back in Protihex?" Prowl's voice trembled as he clutched Jazz tightly, struggling to reconcile the fears of the last five orns with the relief that it was a singular ability and the fear that this was some kind of hallucination.

::I was afraid. I didn't know what was going on. I still don't understand what is going on. I needed...I needed to think clearly for a bit, or at least try to.:: Jazz couldn't give him more of a reason than that, not when it all came down to fear.

It hadn't been fair to Prowl, and Jazz was the first to admit that. But he couldn't go back and change what he had done. All he could do now was pray that Prowl would forgive him and that they could move forward.

The Praxian nodded against his helm, still trembling. "Only one," he whispered, his voice straining in relief. Then he suddenly pulled back and stared at Jazz. "Only one."

::Only one?:: Jazz repeated, too tired and still too relieved at the moment to really process anything.

"The only one who affects me with their voice," Prowl was still trembling in relief as he sank his helm forward to rest against Jazz's. "There's only one mech who does that. Just you."

::Only me.:: Jazz agreed, the fact a comfort to him as well.

"How ... how much a secret do you want to keep this? From my family."

::I was going to ask you that.:: Jazz answered quietly. ::As well as what you wished to do with the fact.:: He leaned against Prowl more, physically requiring the support to stay upright.

"I would tell them, if for no other reason than to ease their concerns that I am no longer worried that there is more than one mech who can affect me," Prowl murmured as he began to back up, guiding Jazz towards his berthroom. "Come, you need to recharge."

::Please. That change isn't easy.:: Jazz allowed himself to be guided, offering no resistance and only just thinking to point out. ::We left a servant standin' in the hall.::

"I'll send him away. He doesn't need to see to Sirenis after all," Prowl purred. "I spent three orns in your rooms. It's time you spent a few in mine."

::Like the idea.:: Jazz admitted. ::Some of my family knows, and the agent who does the security and takes care of all the details. It was never really an issue until ya started picking at it.::

Prowl chuckled softly. "It's testament to your agent's skill that I still hadn't uncovered anything more than Sirenis was a false ID. Something that isn't particularly unusual for entertainers, after all."

::Part of the reason I was able to pull it off at all.:: The smaller mech agreed, finally halfway looking around to see where he was being led. The berth was a large one, one he'd assume was for a larger mech but for its location and that it was square. These were Prowl's rooms, that must be Prowl's berth, but Prowl was a mech who rarely had a lover, even for the night, and that berth was one meant for two.

He studied the berth for a moment, then looked at Prowl, curious.

"Doorwings," he wiggled them for emphasis as he helped Jazz settle on a berth softer than his own. "They need space and special support. Would you like energon?"

::That'd be nice. Have to have some when I come out of recharge, if not now.:: Jazz sprawled on the soft berth, suddenly not sure if he would manage to remain online long enough to consume the energon.

"Recharge," Prowl kissed him softly. "Energon will be here when you cycle up. I will try to be."

He came out of recharge slowly, warning that he needed to refuel soon noted and dismissed for the time being. He was warm, comfortable, and far more peaceful than he had been not so very long ago. After a moment that warmth registered as arms wrapped around him and a large frame pressed against his own, startling his optics online.

An unfamiliar berthroom greeted his optics, one that was not anywhere in any of Protihex's palaces or noble towers. It was of royal or ranking noble construction and design, even if it wasn't one he knew intimately.

Sirenis...Praxus...Prowl. ::Prowl?::

"Mmm?" The younger mech murmured, only half way out of recharge himself.

Panic and tension drained from Jazz's frame as he relaxed against the other mech. ::Sorry. Recharge.::

::You. Energon. Now,:: Prowl mumbled across the comm as he reluctantly shifted off his lover.

:: Am fine.:: Jazz protested even though he knew he wasn't as Prowl moved away, taking the warmth and comfort Jazz was enjoying with him. Still, he only had to roll on his side to reach the cube of sparkling energon and he felt Prowl shift behind him, drawing him into a sitting position and onto the Praxian's lap.

"Impact is going to chew you out repeatedly, and Springer's going to hit you, but overall everyone took it well," Prowl murmured in his audio, his fingers playing lightly down Jazz's sides. "They're far too relieved that it is a singular ability to be too angry with you if I'm not."

Jazz took a sip of the energon, shivering as the rich liquid hit his tank before leaning against Prowl and reaching out to stroke the other mech with his free hand, reassuring himself this was reality.

"I hope I calculated it correctly and you preferred I pass the news along," Prowl nuzzled him. "As difficult as it was for you to tell me, I doubted you wished to be the one to tell my carrier's clade if you did not have to."

Jazz shook his head and forced more of the energon down, ignoring the burning in his tank and the rush flooding his system. He had been in worse shape than he had first thought. ::Thank ya. It's not somethin' I was lookin' forward to.::

"I can order something milder," Prowl murmured, his fingers slipping along Jazz's to stop him from forcing another mouthful down. "First Aid needs to see you anyway, or we'll both face Impact's wrath at supper. I have been told in no uncertain terms that we will both be there."

::Here, or I need to go see him?:: Jazz asked, willingly handing over the energon at the chance of something milder, no matter how much he needed the energy. For the moment he was going to ignore what he was going to have to face at dinner.

"He will come here, and bring some good low grade with him," Prowl promised, his voice soft as he commed the palace physician with the instructions and set the midgrade back on the side table. "Since the testing is now just the two of us again, how long will you remain in Praxus?"

::I don't know.:: Jazz answered, curling against Prowl. ::Jazz was not supposed to come and visit for a while, but I've nothin pressing at home. So long as Sirenis can leave and Jazz can come don' know any reason I can't stay for a bit.::

"Good," Prowl purred, sliding his hands along Jazz's arms. "It will make the next few orns go more quickly."

::Providin' your family doesn't kill me.:: Jazz replied in good humor as he melted against Prowl, shamelessly enjoying the attention he'd missed in the short time they had been apart. To feel Prowl, his chassis and his field, equally pleased with the contact only made it better and they relaxed in that soft embrace until First Air pinged and was admitted.

The royal physician smiled at the couple when he entered the berthroom. His first act was to take two gently glowing cube of mild low-grade energon. One went on the berthside table and the other was handed to Jazz. "Drink this, then I'll make sure everything is where it should be."

The new energon went down much easier, soothing and strengthening, and Jazz held out the empty cube, very reluctant to move from where he was.

"You don't need to move for a while," First Aid smiled gently at him and sat down on the berth. "First, from the description Prowl gave Impact, who then passed it on to me, it sounds like what you did is called sorcelling. Is that true?"

Jazz twitched for a moment, reluctance to reveal anything about his other identity long ingrained into his processor, before finally nodding. ::Yeah, it is.::

"Why don't you drink the second cube while I run a few scans to make sure everything went where it's supposed to go?" First Aid said gently, though Jazz had little doubt it was more order than suggestion.

"Sorcelling?" Prowl asked, looking between the mechs.

"It is an advanced, and fairly dangerous, use of the alt form scan we all have," First Aid said as he plugged into Jazz's medical port. "Instead of only scanning an appropriate form and altering your armor to suit, it scans everything about a subject, from facial features to vocalizer to coloration and matches it. Including going outside suitable forms. Very few who are not top spies learn it."

Jazz down the second cube, not requiring a lot of prodding to do so, his energy levels still reading on the low side. ::I haven't messed up since I was just startin' to learn.::

"Which is good," First Aid said easily. "However you are under my care here and I must insist that I check on you after such efforts. You systems are all good. The recharge and energon is enough, though I would like you to finish the midgrade before you engage in anything strenuous."

::No arguments here.:: The stronger energon wouldn't cause such a spike in his systems after the low grade, and Jazz knew he needed it as he rested his helm against Prowl, relaxed as First Aid finished up the scans and unplugged.

"Since everything is fine, I'll leave you to your own devices," the physician gave his visor a wink before standing and smoothly leaving.

"After the midgrade, a nice, long shower?" Prowl purred against his stubby audio horn.

Jazz held out his hand for the mid grade. ::Seeing as how I didn' get a chance to clean up earlier and I'm expected at dinner tonight it sounds like a good idea.::

"Good," Prowl handed him the cube even as he ran his glossa up the small audio horn. "I've missed you."

::Need to finish this.:: Jazz pointed out, shivering at the touch that brought how much had missed Prowl back into focus. Missed him enough to the point that some of his family was ready to pack him up and ship him over to Praxus just so they didn't have to look at him anymore.

"Then finish," Prowl purred, sliding teasing fingers down Jazz's sides. "I'd rather like a repeat of that first shower we shared."

Jazz bit back a moan at the memory and started downing the rest of the cube rather faster than he probably should have. ::No talking?::

"No talking," Prowl purred, revving his engine against Jazz's back. "As incredible as your voice feels, I want to feel what you do to me without it."

::Yes.:: Jazz agreed, turning far enough to claim a kiss. It was reassuring to him, the idea that Prowl desired him even without the influence of his voice. That just because it was what brought them together, it wasn't the defining point. It wasn't the only reason Prowl wanted him.

"Mmm, should I get you revved up while you drink?" he asked slyly, playfully.

::Your gamble.:: If he continued to tease like that Jazz wasn't sure he was going to be able to resist pinning the mech right there on the berth, and he rather liked the scenario that Prowl had been painting.

"I think I win either way," Prowl chuckled with a sultry rev, his fingers growing bolder in the seams on Jazz's sides. "We do have over three joor ... plenty of time to play in the shower, and to hear your voice full of passion for me."

Jazz choked back a noise. He'd take either option at the moment, both of them being where he wanted to be, with Prowl, and therefore equally attractive. Then warm, knowing fingers played across the seams of his codpiece and Prowl's mouth was nibbling along his neck.

"Drink up, lover. We can't play until you're done."

Jazz finished off the last of the midgrade, blindly attempting to set the empty cube on the table as he captured Prowl's lips with his own. The kiss was returned with fervor and as Jazz turned his body around to face Prowl he caught a flicker of desire, a silent request Prowl wasn't willing to give voice to, across their entwined fields.

He growled, leaning aggressively into the kiss as hands reached around to play over the doorwings that tempted him so mercilessly. Without any hesitation they shifted to press into his touch as Prowl moved to give him access.

A low, pleasured moan escaped Prowl as he dug his fingers into Jazz's hips, rocking his own into the contact as he kissed his lover, sliding his glossa along Jazz's lip plates, asking for admittance.

::Missed this.:: Jazz admitted, answering the silent request. Part of him paid a little more attention as he reached his fingers around to the back of Prowl's wings, barely touching to see just how much more sensitive they were. ::Missed you. Want you.::

::Primus,:: Prowl gasped and rolled his shoulders up, giving Jazz better access as their glossa explored each other. His field roared at Jazz's, entwining and tangling them together with a kind of desperate hunger and an even stronger rush of desire.

::Busy.:: Jazz responded, the desire pulling at him as he pushed at Prowl. ::Remember the other night? Your wings- let me have them.::

A soft whine escaped Prowl as he was forced to break the kiss, but he shifted under Jazz as instructed, settling on his front with his doorwings wide for his lover. This close, it was impossible to miss how he trembled in anticipation.

For a moment Jazz just savored the sight before him. Then he reached out, tracing his fingers lightly along the surface of the doorwings facing him. ::I love this, you know.:: He purred as Prowl moaned unabashedly. ::So beautiful.::

"Don't be quiet," Prowl gasped, his doorwings quivering at the light touch. "Want to hear your voice."

::You sure?:: Jazz teased, leaning down to drag his glossa along one wing, hand smoothing over the other one. ::Makes it a little hard to do this.::

"Yes!" Prowl nearly cried out in surprise, his entire frame trembling. "Please, want to hear your voice."

"Ya know, I'm thinkin' I might be able to improvise." Jazz breathed against the sensors, hands dragging softly down Prowl's sides to tease at dark hips.

They pressed into his touch without hesitation as Prowl moaned, his entire frame trembling as the sound vibrated his spark chamber, inflaming his spark in a way nothing else could.

"Missed you so much, everything about you." Jazz rambled, fingers moving to trace over Prowl's interface. "Let me in here?" He would not demand it, but oh he remembered it.

With a single shudder, Prowl lifted his hips and slid the valve cover open, offering without reservation, willing to accept pain or pleasure as it came.

"Remember? How good it felt? Can feel again?" Jazz touched, teasing at the valve while focusing more of his attention on the doorwings again, quivering with need and want that he allowed to flow through his EM field, intent on sharing with Prowl just how much it meant that Prowl was willing to indulge him like this.

"I remember," Prowl moaned, pressing his doorwings up as a small sheen of lubricant oozed out to coat his valve.

The motion caught Jazz's attention, and for moment he focused completely on the doorwings, both hands coming to work over the flat surface as his glossa teased along the joints, exploring in a way he hadn't dared before.

"Dreamed of you like this." Jazz confessed, "Underneath me, crying out as I drive ya senseless."

Prowl was reduced to keening whimpers, his entire chassis pressing upwards, seeking just that much more contact as he could. His doorwings rubbed against Jazz's hands as the charge began to build in his systems, driven by a spark swelling in response to the vibrations of its chamber.

The contact was enough to drive Jazz mad, freeing his own spike as he reached down to test the readiness of his lover. Prowl wasn't as slick as he'd like and with any other lover it would be enough, but with Prowl, with only the second time he'd done this, it was no time to rush. No matter how much the Praxian under him tightened his hands around the berth material or pressed into his lightly probing fingers with sounds of needy pleasure.

Jazz hummed, resting his helm along Prowl's back, still working gently on a doorwing. "Easy love." The endearment slipped from his glossa so easily, knowledge tempering his desire. It would be enough that Prowl enjoyed this, that it created another good memory for the mech.

He had another fantasy, one that could take a very long time to fulfill but that would be worth all the time and effort if it ever came true.

He pressed a single finger in, searching carefully to bring Prowl pleasure. "Overload for me. I want to see."

A low whine rippled up with Prowl's shudder as the valve tightened around the intruding digit. Jazz could feel it, in his field and against his chassis, that Prowl wasn't faking or forcing himself to thrust his hips back, pressing into the contact.

It felt so very sweet. The feel of his lover's energy, the rush of pleasure in their entwined fields, the needy little sounds he wrung from Prowl and the shameless way the Praxian moved and voiced his pleasure was everything Jazz ever dared dream of in a lover. Every way pleasure could be shown, it was.

"M-more," Prowl managed to gasp out, his chassis right on the brink, his valve not that far behind.

"More what?" Jazz asked, even as he reached for the spots he knew, the ones that would push Prowl into overload and give them both what they wanted.

Instead of a word Prowl roared, his valve tightening around the finger, his doorwings pressing up hard to make as much contact as they could and his chassis arching against Jazz to share and ground the explosive rush of energy that tore through Prowl's systems.

Jazz instinctively clutched at the frame pressing into his own, far closer to the edge then he had realized as the energy tore through him, only enhanced by pride that he was the one to cause such a reaction. It felt so good. Not just the overload he was quickly edging towards as Prowl writhed and cried under him but also the trust he knew he'd earned from the long damaged mech.

As Prowl sank onto the berth, his charge spent, it didn't take him long to work out that Jazz was still keyed up.

"Slick enough now?" he murmured, his words slightly slurred as he twitched the calipers in his valve around the finger still inside him.

Jazz groaned, stomping down his desire to feel that around his spike as he nuzzled at Prowl's neck. Now was not the time to be asking him that, when he wanted to take so badly. But not so badly that he would compromise Prowl for it.

"No?" Prowl leaned into the nuzzle before turning his head for a kiss. "Can I taste you then?" he purred against Jazz's mouth. "Feel your mouth around my spike while I drive you over the edge with mine?"

Jazz shivered, trying to wrap his processor around what was being suggested through the haze of desire. "Ya'd like that?" He was just about to give into anything Prowl was suggesting.

"Very much," Prowl rumbled with a ripple of desire in his field. "You know I enjoy using my mouth."

Jazz purred, memories of that coming through very clearly as he moved off Prowl to kneel on the berth and reached out to caress a doorwing before they could move out of his reach. Then Prowl up on his knees and pulled Jazz against him and into a hungry kiss as one hand reached between them to lightly stroke Jazz's spike.

Just that touch was enough to make Jazz whimper, asking for more without words as his lips and glossa attempted to put the need he felt into the kiss.

::Mmm, so, kiss while my hand works you, or get my mouth down there?:: Prowl rumbled, turned on by both ideas.

Glossa teased at Prowl's lips as hands came up to cradle the Praxian's face. ::I like this just fine.::

Prowl smiled and ghosted his glossa along Jazz's as he closed his hand around Jazz's spike and gave it a single, long stroke. One slide up. One down, a light squeeze, then up again to tease the head with his thumb.

Each motion drew some sort of small sound from Jazz, his entire frame quivering.

With a secretive smile Prowl continued the slow stroking while his glossa mapped every part of Jazz's mouth. He slid his free hand up Jazz's back, playing seams until he reached his lover's helm and his goal. With stealthy fingers he caught one of Jazz's horns and squeezed it lightly.

Jazz didn't ever try to hold back the cry of bliss that escaped him at the attention, trying to lean into the touch on a rarely employed but very effective spot without breaking the kiss.

::Please...:: he gasped over the comm when Prowl trembled from the sound and squeezed a little harder with both hands.

Without hesitation strong fingers rolled over the sensitive stub horn, giving as much pressure as Jazz wanted. Prowl's glossa became more aggressive as his strokes to Jazz's spike sped up slightly.

Jazz hands twitched, fingers flexing indecisively at so many points of pleasure, sounds pouring from him without restraint because if that was what it took to keep Prowl doing this he was never going to shut up.

::Overload for me, Jazz,:: Prowl purred, his voice deep and rich with arousal as he thrust his field deep into his lover. He broke the kiss, allowing Jazz's voice to roll over him unimpeded and turned his mouth to Jazz's neck, licking and kissing along the cabling.

Jazz fell with the final push of the field into his own, frame going rigid as the charge of overload danced over him, crying out his lovers name as came. He only distantly felt Prowl's embrace, or the way one hand continued to stroke him as transfluid made his spike slick under the fingers still working it.

"You feel so good," Prowl shivered as he finally let Jazz's spike go with a parting slide of his fingers of the hard, quivering length and wrapped both arms around Jazz, pulling him close and snuggling against the mech he was effectively holding up. "I never want to let you go."

The smaller mech melted against him, a sigh of warm contentment escaping him as his helm came to rest on Prowl's shoulder. ::Don't want you to.::

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 10: Dinner in Praxus

As was planned, the Lord, Lady and their other creations were seated at the intimate family dinning table before the youngest, Prowl, and his new lover, Lord Jazz of Protihex, arrive. The room is as tense since they'd heard of Lord Crisp Wing's deactivation in that crash and the feelings just as mixed. The youngest may be their least rebellious creation, but he does have a talent for creating turmoil without intending it.

When the pair entered, Jazz was behind Prowl, head turning just a bit to take in the unfamiliar room with apprehension flickering across his features at the sight of the entire family gathered in one place.

Without a twitch of warning Lord Springer stood and stalked towards them, the movement catching Jazz's attention and he hesitated, his steps faltering at the approach of the much larger and clearly angry mech. He took the hard cuff to the helm with good grace, even though it made him stumble two paces before he caught himself.

Prowl's scowl is enough to melt most mechs, but his target doesn't care. Springer knows his place and he knows he ranks Prowl and Jazz in every way.

"That is for not telling him you're Sirenis when he first mentioned it," Springer growled, his arm twitching, wanting to deliver a second blow that will not fall.

Jazz nodded in understanding, still not quite steady on his feet as he faces the angry triple-changer. At the table Lady Impact straightened, taking in the whole scene and was suddenly very focused on her large brother, her doorwings twitching minutely. As angry as they all were, there was a time and a place for violence, and it is not against a handicapped mech.

"Now sit," Springer growled and pointed to the table where two seats were open between Lord Crystal and his heir, Tracks.

Jazz gave Springer a wider distance than was probably necessary as he passed, leaning into Prowl slightly as they walk the rest of the way to the table. He only stopped to give a respectable bow to the ruling Lord and Lady. They nod acceptance and Prowl guided him to sit next to Lord Crystal while Prowl took the seat next to his more volatile eldest sibling to shield Jazz from any potential additional cuffs.

"While I disagree with the physical violence, the anger behind it is not unique to Springer," Lord Crystal spoke to his youngest creation's guest and lover. "While I understand the desire to keep a secret, given the affect your voice has at least Prowl and the physicians should have been told."

::I have already apologized to Prowl for keeping the fact that I am Sirenis from him. It was...wrong of me to do so. And not just to him but to all of you as well.:: The general comm carried all of the proper tone of apology, both in the wording as with what inflection could be conveyed through such a method of communication.

Springer was about to say something, but a glance from Impact silenced him.

"Why did you remain silent to them?" Whisper, the peacekeeper of the large family, spoke in the brief silence.

Jazz fidgeted for a moment before he caught himself, forcing himself to be still. The truth was not pretty, nor kind to anyone, and if anything perhaps proved him unworthy of the mech seated beside him.

But he was done with lies, and so when he answered Whisper he faced her, meeting her optics openly. ::I was selfish and scared.::

"Afraid of what?" Springer did ask this time, though he was audibly mollified by the admittance.

This time Jazz did cringe, and he forced himself to look at Springer only so he would not be looking at Prowl when he answered. ::That it wasn't real. That it was all talk and I would be forgotten once he returned home.::

"With what your voice does to me?" Prowl hissed, shocked beyond politeness. "With the tests, your own physician there? I am the one with a reputation to loose, shame to bring to my House and city."

Jazz quivered, knowing that he deserved all of this. He had explained to Prowl but he had not really explained. ::Why do you think I was afraid?:: He asked, pleading for understanding that he doubted he was going to receive.

Instead of anger, he was greeted with confusion all around.

It was Tracks who finally spoke. "That we'd bury it rather than deal with it."

"But if we were going to do that, you'd be in real danger," Springer scowled at Jazz. "You may have been dealt with by careful avoidance if we went that route, but Sirenis would go away."

Prowl's engine growled at the statement, but he didn't actually counter it. He knew the truth, even if it was rarely spoken of. If he hadn't been there, he would have suspected that Crisp Wing had suffered a similar fate, first generation Praxian noble or not.

Jazz looked at Prowl, a desperate request for a private comm sent despite the fact that they were surrounded by the mech's family. The words he needed to say were truth for Prowl, words that might still cause the mech to walk away from him.

It was opened, curiosity dominant on Prowl's end, along with distress that wasn't entirely about Jazz.

::I said I was being selfish and I was. I was fallin' in love with ya, but I didn't believe when ya said it was more than just a physical need. Not until just before ya left and then ... I came to tell ya the truth.::

There- it was out in the open. The fact that he had not trusted Prowl, not believed in the mech. What he had been afraid of, what he was still afraid, of was rejection from Prowl, not anything that his family might do to him.

Doorwings quivered, causing Prowl's family to pay sharp attention to the pair as Prowl processed the statement.

::Why?:: Prowl asked, a single word encompassing his own insecurities.

For a moment Jazz just stared at him, trying to figure out how to put into words everything he saw in the mech that he didn't want to give up. ::You're smart, funny, beautiful-:: And there was everything that Jazz couldn't find words for.

Passionate. There was more to Prowl than he let the outside world see. His family would not be so devoted to him otherwise. He was kind, forgiving- he had not held a youngling's mistake against her, twice, even though it was well within his right to have done so. Especially that second time when he'd actually been injured by her actions. Prowl had every right to dislike Serenity, yet he had thought to ask about her condition without prompting.

Yes, Prowl had his faults. But it was blatantly apparent that Jazz had his own. ::You asked me what I wanted in a sparkmate. I'm startin' to believe it's you.::

::Funny?:: Prowl locked onto the one that he hadn't heard before. He knew he was smart, smarter than was good for him on occasion, but it was a trait he recognized in himself. Beautiful ... it wasn't as easy, but he'd heard it enough, particularly from lovers, to accept the statement in context. But funny? Not even his close kin found him amusing. Not in any good ways at least.

::Yes.:: Jazz confirmed, sure of his assessment. Oh, it wasn't obvious humor, being dry and subtle in nature. But Jazz appreciated it for what it was. The quiet jabs and random comments delivered in an even tone and so easily missed. ::Humorous, witty, if ya prefer, but ya are.::

Prowl's doorwings flicked, twitching minutely, and the tension at the table broke.

::Thank you,.:: Prowl murmured, suddenly shy at the complement.

"If you are done speaking privately," Lord Crystal drew them back to where they were. While the private comm was rude at the table, given the subject matter he had tolerated it. "Prowl has publicly indicated his intent to court you. What do you say to his desire?"

::If he still wishes to pursue it,:: Jazz answered, opening the comm back up so everyone could hear, ::I would be honored.::

"I do," Prowl said firmly. "The courting is a time to learn, and we are learning. No one should expect it to be perfect." He cut himself off before he added 'especially with me'.

Jazz nodded in agreement and held out a hand. ::Forgive me?::

"Yes," Prowl placed his hand on Jazz's and closed his fingers lightly.

It was easy, for the most part, to pick out who was pleased and who thought this was a mistake. Fortunately those who could really do something about it, Prowl's creators and two most outspoken siblings, seemed to approve, or at least weren't displeased.

Jazz's slump was more than just a lessening of the fear that had been holding him upright, a fact that was not lost on Impact as she caught her creators optic and tilted her head subtly in the direction of the meal laid out before them.

She wanted fuel in the Protihexian, and as soon as the evening meal was over her bother's lover was going to be checked over and given a thorough talking to. They took the hint and sipped their energon, while the servants took the hint and made sure there was a selection of confections in front of Jazz.

"Refuel, before Impact decides subtlety isn't working," Prowl told his lover, an almost there smile on his lip plates. "She's not done being upset over your lack of refueling before recharge."

Jazz sighed but obediently went to work on the confections, feeling better after the first few. ::Seein' as I know better than to do what I did, if I promise to not do it again maybe she'll only be a little mad at me?:: He wasn't betting on it but he could always be hopeful.

"Unlikely," Prowl chuckled lightly.

"It only makes it worse," the medic-royal spoke up. "Now I know I have to watch you as close as I watch him."

Jazz's expression at the idea was comical, even if it was just one more thing to add to the list of things he had coming and deserved. Sideswipe would be delighted to know that he had a watchdog here in Praxus now.

"You didn't actually think you could escape a guardian just by leaving Protihex?" Prowl's tone was even, but his pale optics glittered with amusement. "You've only inherited mine as well as your own. Once Springer is done being grouchy about timing, he'll be watching too."

::Then at least you already know to watch out for Sideswipe and Sunstreaker.:: Jazz answered with equal humor as he polished off an entire cube of energon in an attempt to start appeasing Impact.

"Who do you think Springer and I spent three orns chatting up?" Impact chuckled. "And being chatted up by. They're quite the pair, really."

Jazz smiled easily, unconcerned since he was sure that Prowl's siblings had a good idea of what they were getting into where the twins were concerned. ::They are.::

"Now, the required creator questions," Lord Crystal smiled at the young royal that had captured his creation's spark in so many ways. "I trust you are a strong enough spark to carry or kindle?"

::So far as I know, and Callback has never indicated otherwise.:: Jazz answered attention respectfully shifting to Prowl's creators.

"Callback and First Aid did compare notes," Impact spoke up. "Their sparks are very compatible. As close to a perfect match as either has seen, though not the best recorded."

Lady Cloud hummed happily at that news, and her bonded looked pleased.

"Have either agreed on a likely solution?" Crystal focused on her.

Impact just shook her head. "Nothing beyond the obvious preliminary ideas of altering Prowl's spark chamber or Jazz's voice, both dangerous and neither guaranteed to work with what they know now."

"So more testing," Prowl vented.

Impact nodded sympathetically. "If we are going to find something to make this more manageable, little brother, I am afraid so. Though now that they can narrow the focus it might be easier to find a solution."

"Or harder, with a smaller sample size," he countered gloomily. "Much harder given I only want to control when, not stop it entirely."

"That good?" Pele and Pala, the second creation twins of Praxus asked in unison.

"Yes," Prowl nearly quivered from the memories.

Jazz twitched, proud and embarrassed at the same time. And hopeful that a compromise could be found that would make both of them happy.

Impact sighed, wanting to argue with her brother but knowing there was no way she was going to win an fight about this with him when he was in a mood like this and unwilling to destroy the peace that had settled over the table. Letting it drop she helped herself to an energon confection as the conversation moved on to other things.

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 11: Proving in Pleasure

Jazz moaned into a heady kiss as knowing fingers played along his sides. He followed as Prowl stepped backward into the running shower, one far fancier than his own. Three levels of sprayers ringed the room-sized stall, plus a large sprayer directly overhead. Hot solvent pattered against his plating, but he barely felt it. The heat of Prowl's desire was too much to care about such things. Not when the Praxian had backed himself against one wall and flared his doorwings out, laying them flat in offering.

::Sleek and shiny, and already against a wall.:: Jazz fingers wandered down Prowl's sides, expertly gliding along familiar armor seams and pressing into gaps to play with wires. He wanted to tease those wings spread along the wall but refrained, distracting himself with claiming Prowl's lips in another kiss. ::Wanting me to tempt ya, tease ya. Drive ya mad.::

A small whine of need escaped the pinned mech as he arched against Jazz even as his internals relaxed and his field wrapped around Jazz in raw, hot desire. A silent encouragement to do more, to demand and claim anything.

::Talk. You want me.:: Prowl's lips were freed as the other mech traced a path to the Praxians neck, lips and glossa teasing in partnership with fingers that were never still on Prowl's frame.

"Yes," the single word was more of a moan when Jazz's fingers found his interface cover and teased it. It opened without reservation. "Want you more than anything I've ever known. Have from the moment I first heard your voice. Want to feel your desire just for me."

::Just for you.:: Jazz confirmed, somehow knowing in his spark how true it was. He had never had a lover he'd wanted so badly, one he would fight to keep as his and only his. He pushed that sureness at Prowl, displaying it openly for the mech to feel ... and felt something break inside Prowl.

Strong white hands pulled Jazz close as Prowl's mouth descended on his, claiming, taking, demanding in a way the mech hadn't been with Jazz before. A sudden shift and Jazz found himself pinned against the wall, Prowl's hand insistent on both interface covers.

For a moment Jazz froze, a conversation with Sideswipe cutting through the pleasure induced fog, fighting with the insistent mouth in his own and the demanding fingers.

Oh Primus...

He trusted Prowl.

He gave into the kiss, relaxing against the wall as hands came up to grab on to Prowl, steadying, interface covers sliding away.

"Talk to me," Prowl growled, his voice deep and rich with arousal as he slid a finger lightly around the rim of Jazz's valve. "I want your voice."

"It's yours." Jazz answered, lifting his head to look into icy blue optics darkening with desire. "Any time you want it, yours."

Prowl trembled as the pleasure rolled through his spark and lowered his head to kiss and lick along Jazz's throat. His fingers continued to tease despite how insistent his field indicated his arousal was, and his spike remained sheathed.

Jazz whimpered as Prowl pressed a finger deeper into his slick valve, a sound of want and need. "Any time you want it, it's yours. To speak. To sing. To drive you like this."

"Slick enough?" Prowl's voice was trembling almost as much as his chassis, driven by desire and anticipation as his finger slid in and out of the hot valve.

"Yes." Jazz gasped, willing. "Yours. Take."

A small nod against Jazz's neck and Prowl allowed his spike to slide free and pressurize as his finger slid out, only to trail up and ghost across Jazz's spike. Jazz whined at the changing sensation, empty valve and teased spike. Then Prowl leaned back and brought the finger to his mouth, swirled his glossa around it before sucking it clean, all while watching Jazz's reaction as the movement was followed hungry, Jazz watching and wanting before pulling Prowl down and capturing those lips for himself.

"Yours." Jazz moaned into the kiss, trembling as he felt Prowl shift, the tip of his spike resting agonizingly against the lip of his valve. Then a single hard thrust and Prowl was seated fully inside him and they trembled in tandem, adjusting to the sensations of filling and being filled.

"Mine," Prowl growled, possessive and demanding, accepting what he'd been offered with a full match of aggression for submission.

Jazz nodded, holding on to the mech pinning him against the wall, quivering with desire and a hint of uncertainty. He wanted this, had offered himself to Prowl and meant it, all of him, completely. And a part of him welcomed this lover, while part of him feared where he found himself. Yet the pleasure was very real and despite the intensity and aggression, he could feel in the inexperienced movements and the field tangled with his own that Prowl was trying to make this good for him.

Grunting groans washed across Jazz's throat as Prowl's charge built quickly, the hard, jerking thrusts pushing his pleasure towards overload.

"Mine." Jazz moaned, allowing himself just to feel for the moment, hands loosening to run over Prowl's shoulders.

Prowl shuddered as the sound washed over him. One hand slid down, along Jazz's aft and then his leg, drawing it up at the knee while he teased exposed wires and tubing there while his other hand found Jazz's spike and began to stroke it.

"Prowl. So me." He managed, hands slipping back to tease at the doorwings. "Let me...please."

"Yes," the Praxian shuddered and moaned, the new angle of Jazz's hips allowing him much deeper into the slick, hot valve. "Yours. Anytime."

"Smart. Beautiful." Jazz groaned, everything he loved about the mech pounding him into the wall spilling from him as he played with the doorwings. "Passionate. Kind. Mine."

"Yours. Mine," Prowl growled; confirming, demanding. His chassis trembled nearly as much as his doorwings as he tried to hold back against the charge roaring freely through his systems.

So close. Jazz smiled at the desire he felt between them, turning his head to nuzzle at Prowl. "Let go love."

Denta bared against Jazz's neck but didn't bite. Prowl's hips thrust harder and doorwings pressed into the touch. He was right on the edge, vents and fans working to cool him in vain. He closed his fingers around Jazz's spike a little more, wanting to crash over the edge with that addictive sensation of his lover going with him.

"Prowl. Please." He pushed his field against the Praxian's, feeling the desire there and sharing.

It was more than Prowl could take and he roared his overload against Jazz's neck. Deep inside Jazz's valve hot, charged transfluid shot from Prowl's spike, soaking both sensor-rich surfaces with a charge that electrified the nodes, arching power across the small separation.

It was enough, Jazz crying out as the charge roared through and he reacted instinctively, holding Prowl close to share the rush of pure bliss carrying him away, valve clamping down on spike where their frames joined as they both stiffened from shorted motor relays and scrambled neural networks.

Prowl was the first to begin to find self control again, but he did little more than slump forward, pinning Jazz against the wall a bit more firmly.

Jazz came around more slowly, though with no objections to the position he found himself. After a moment's consideration he found the strength, and more importantly the coordination, to stroke Prowl's helm affectionately. ::Thank you.::

"That was intense," Prowl murmured, still panting as he slowly disengaged their frames, setting Jazz's leg back down before kissing him softly.

::Very.:: He leaned into the kiss. It had been intense, and educational, and wonderful. ::Definitely worth a repeat sometime.:: He added affectionately.

"Agreed," Prowl's engine purred. "Showers seem to be a good spot for trying new things for us," he added, only half teasing.

::Easy to clean up afterward.:: Jazz teased in return. ::And nice for me.:: He added, brushing carefully over a wing and sincerely looking forward to scrubbing them again.

"True," Prowl pressed into the touch with a happy hum. "You are very good at getting me to try new things."

::New things together. Shower was just a fantasy before you.:: Jazz confessed, finger tracing through the solvent shining on Prowl's plating, the resulting smudge trail a mix of random patterns and glyphs.

The larger mech shivered at the touch and the sensation of glyphs for lover, mine and beautiful being written on his plating. "Maybe we'll see what you think of energon gel games later," he purred deeply and drew Jazz towards the middle of the shower.

::Anything for another shower.:: Jazz responded, looking around for actual cleaning supplies.

Prowl actually snickered as he reached for an ultra soft brush meant for doorwings and other sensor-rich areas and handed it to Jazz before presenting his back. "If you need a shower after that you aren't playing right."

::Then I look forward to finding out what is better than this.::

"Jazz, would you prefer to be here or in a guest room for the examination?" Prowl asked gently more than three joor later as they lay comfortably entwined on his berth. "It seems those called on have arrived."

::Comfortable here.:: The smaller mech answered from where he was wrapped around Prowl on the berth. ::And I've got nothin' else to hide. But your rooms. If ya don't want a bunch of strangers wandering around them I can move.::

"Here will be fine," Prowl kissed a stubby audio horn and unwrapped his arms. "You are welcome to lay here while I let them in."

Jazz considered it, stretching out full length on the berth before rolling into a sitting position. It was nice there because Prowl was there, and he had the distinct feeling he was going to have to move soon anyway. "Perhaps the library?" he suggested before Prowl had taken more than a few steps.

The Praxian nodded his agreement, leaving Jazz to go on his own time, more or less, and choose his seat. Jazz also knew where Prowl kept a small stash of high grade and confections so he didn't have to call a servant if he didn't feel like it. And refueling a little beforehand was very attractive. Jazz hated testing, poking, prodding. Anything where there was the potential he was going to be required to sit still for any length of time. With that thought Jazz got to his feet and wandered into the library.

And even though he was being honest with Prowl- there was nothing that they could potentially find that he was trying to hide from the mech- Jazz was still rather private individual when it came to his life and his person.

Unfortunately he'd only managed to get a few sips from the cube he'd poured for himself when Lord Crystal walked in ... followed by the person he least expected to see; his own sparker, Lady Rilla. Behind her Quickwit walked next to a slender Praxian in deep blue and black with a dark green chevron. Without being told, Jazz knew Quickwit was very familiar with the dark Praxian. He was too at ease, too relaxed. The agent didn't do relaxed.

Prowl was the last to enter, and looked the least comfortable of them all.

He wished there was something he could do to put Prowl more at ease, but he was confused himself. Setting the cube side Jazz politely acknowledged Lord Crystal before turning his attention to his sparker, curious. If there was to be an explanation for Quickwit and his dark companion it would most likely come from one of those two sources.

"Normally I would not go to such lengths to ensure a mech is who they say they are," Lord Crystal was the first to speak. "However, given the skill you have demonstrated, combined with the affect you have on my youngest, I am inclined to go to these lengths. Your creator is here to ensure nothing untoward happens to you."

Jazz nodded, really wondering what they were going to ask him to do now, though fairly confident that his creator would not go along with anything that could seriously harm him. And he owed Prowl, and by extension his family, the security of knowing he was who he said.

"Since agent Quickwit taught you, he will confirm that you are the mech he trained," Lord Crystal began, motioning Jazz to sit on one of the love seats where there would be room for both mechs. "My agent Cleansheer will then confirm that you are Lord Jazz of Protihex."

"It will all be a simple file check, my Lord," Quickwit said as he stepped forward.

::Of course, my Lord.:: Jazz obediently took a seat, resigning himself to being picked apart, however briefly. Quickwit sat next to him and offered the royal the data cable. Under orders or not, Jazz did outrank him considerably; it paid to remain polite to the mech he still would answer to.

Jazz accepted with a small nod, plugging in calmly. The sooner this was over and done with the sooner they could move on, and the situation was uncomfortable for pretty much everyone involved at the moment.

~My apologies, Lord Jazz,~ Quickwit said before smoothly sliding into the royal's processors. It was painless, the calm, cool awareness weaving deferentially into his own knew him well. Quickwit had been the one to modify Jazz's protocols and taught him how to sorcel in the first place. It barely felt like any time had passed before Quickwit was backing out as smoothly as he'd entered.

The Protihexian agent unplugged, stood and faced the two city rulers. "This is the mech I trained and have always known as Lord Jazz."

Acceptance, though the tension in the room was still high as Cleansheer took Quickwit's place and offered his cable, giving Jazz the same courtesy his counterpart had.

Jazz accepted with the same acknowledgment of the courtesy, though slightly more hesitant. Quickwit was familiar and trusted where this mech was neither. Yet when he plugged in he felt the same kind of cool, professional personality on the other end.

~We are of the same caste, Lord Jazz,~ Cleansheer told him with a touch of humor. ~Yes, we do know each other well over many vorns,~ he answered the thought that had floated through Jazz's meta. ~We can chat, if you would like to be distracted.~

~Little better than dwelling on the fact that you're pickin' me apart.~ Jazz responded agreeably, the brush of humor and the similarity to Quickwit a welcome comfort.

~Have you enjoyed Prowl's hospitality so far?~ Cleansheer asked, trying to keep the subject pleasant as he riffled through the young royal's processors and memories; not so much for their content, but for their authenticity.

The Protihexian shivered, a series of memories jumping involuntarily to prominence in his processor at the inquiry. ~It's been very educational...and very pleasant.~ He admitted, more than a little embarrassed.

~Both are good,~ Cleansheer gave a wave of approval. ~It is good that he finally has a lover capable of making him desire expanding his interfacing options. No matter who you are, you have earned favor in this House for that.~

~Still a good thing when they know I'm who I say I am.~ Jazz answered. ~And I hope both to continue.~

~Oh, definitely,~ Cleansheer agreed smoothly. ~Sorcelling is a difficult skill to master. What made it worth it?~

Jazz thought about it for a moment. ~It's the most complete cover, almost untraceable and requiring very little time or additional supplies to utilize once mastered. When I wanted to create Sirenis many options were considered, and this one, while not the easiest, was judged the best.~

~I'm still rather surprised you managed to convince Quickwit to even admit it existed,~ he chuckled. ~It's not a common skill to talk about even within our caste.~

~It wasn't easy. I'm not sure which was worse- gettin' him to admit it existed, or gettin' him to teach me once he did.~

The Praxian laughed easily with good humor. ~I do not doubt that. He trusts you a lot.~

Jazz couldn't quite catch his surprise at that statement and felt Cleansheer smile before the mech backed out, leaving only a mild processor ache in his wake.

"This is Lord Jazz of Protihex," the Praxian agent told the gathered royals as he stood.

The release of tension in the room was audible, but Jazz only had optics for the reaction of one mech. The relief evident on Prowl's features when he came up was welcome. The surprise it had replaced Jazz was less sure what to make of.

Questions raced through his processor, and he quickly stopped trying to guess why he had been surprised. Jumping to conclusions only seemed to get him in trouble. The welcome he felt in Prowl's field when he was pulled to his pedes and into and embrace made any cause of surprise irrelevant. Whatever doubts had been in Prowl's processors hadn't lasted.

He distantly heard Prowl's carrier speaking to his sparker, but he didn't really care. The others were leaving and he was still warm in Prowl's arms, wrapped in the Praxian's field. A field he welcomed with relief, brushing it with his own before pushing deeper as he returned the embrace. After all of that he would be very content just staying here for while.

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 12: Relief

Warnings and messages demanded his attention as he cycled back on line, some of them coded so that they were to be viewed before he completely onlined and would interfere with the process until they were obeyed. With no reason to not obey that his still hazy processor could recall Jazz complied, going through them in the order they were stacked.

He was not to move until he was cleared to do so. He was not to try and rush the start up cycle- he was in no danger. Except that the next one held a more threatening note- he was not to use his vocalizer until instructed to do so, under pain of some yet unspecified consequences.

The haze began to settle; disjointed memories were called upon in an attempt to make sense of his current condition.

A consultation with an unfamiliar medic, creators present.

Prowl, holding him close, field surrounding him with love and hope but laced with concern all the same.

Voluntarily going into deep induced stasis so that the alterations could be performed. Alterations that hopefully would allow the two of them to have a normal life together.

Shoving the rest of the messages aside, none of them tagged urgent, he came online. He wanted to see Prowl.

"Don't you dare do so much as twitch," an unfamiliar voice growled at him as his optics powered up. White with red focused into a large, boxy mech with severe features and a black chevron. "Your Praxian is just fine. I didn't even sedate him." The mech seemed somehow quite impressed by that.

Jazz obeyed, for the moment. The mech was familiar, the medic who had performed the procedure, nameless for the moment as more memories slowly became available.


The medic was Ratchet, physician to the Prime.

"Do you know who I am?" Ratchet asked.

He was under order not to move. He was under orders not to speak. There was irony in there somewhere.

Well, it had always been safe before. He opened a comm line. ::Ratchet. Prime's physician.::

The mech actually smiled. Sort of. It was more of a smirk.

"A patient with a memory," Ratchet chuckled. "How nice. You can move now. Your systems are registering as stable."

Jazz sat up slowly. He'd enough experience, small as it was, to know that he needed to let his equilibrium systems recalibrate before attempting any serious movement. He watched the medic, a burning question he was afraid to ask eating at him.

"Oh ask already," Ratchet huffed, crossing his arms and glaring at the young black and white Protihexian.

Jazz reached up, fingers brushing at his neck. ::Did it work?::

"The installation went well," Ratchet's voice gentled. "Why don't you try it. Just a few simple words. Tell me how different you sound to yourself."

Jazz hesitated, irrational fear rippling through him for a moment. "Not much, I hope."

He looked back to the medic, visor brightening. It was...he could hear the difference, the small shift in the tone, like some of his natural inflection and resonance was missing, but he still sounded like himself.

The test would be trying it on someone who knew him, one of his brothers maybe, and the real test would of course be Prowl, to know if the changes he could detect were enough.

"I take that as it sounds close enough that you recognize it," Ratchet huffed, but he sounded decidedly pleased. "Your creators would like to see you first. Then I'll turn you loose for the night with Prowl. You can report to me in the morning if everything worked. Look for the protocols to activate your original vocalizer settings while I let them in."

Jazz settled on the berth, obediently sorting through the coding as he waited for his creators. It didn't take much to find them. Top level vocalizer protocols were a small, simple group. Most mechs just had on or off. Jazz now had 'on', 'off', 'original' and 'default'.

Lady Sweetsong was ahead of Ratchet and rushed to check on her second youngest creation while her bonded and ruler talked quietly with Ratchet as they approached more slowly.

"Let me hear you," Sweetsong demanded, worried and excited.

"Not so different, but enough, I'm hopin'." Jazz answered, smiling at her and waiting for her reaction, wondering if she would notice the change.

His carrier nodded, smiling brightly. "You still sound like you," she almost melted in relief and pulled him into an embrace that ended up with him on his feet, her slightly smaller form tucked against his.

"It is good to hear you," Rilla smiled warmly as she joined in the embrace. "I hope this works."

"Does your real voice still work?" Sweetsong asked as she reluctantly stepped back, giving her creation space along with her mate.

"Supposed to," Jazz answered, finding the commands and glancing at the medic before initiating the change. "Easy enough to move between them." He continued, this time with the original setting, fear he hadn't noticed before fading when he sounded completely normal to his own audios.

"Good," Sweetsong brightened considerably. "I'd hate to loose your lovely voice forever, even if I will only hear it when Prowl is elsewhere."

The laugh was easy, happy. That was one of the details that still needed to be worked out between him and Prowl, but at least his creators seemed pleased with the results. "You won't."

She hugged him again. "Good. Switch back so Prowl can see you. He's been remarkably composed the entire time. I'm starting to become very fond of him."

No second prompting was required as Jazz hugged her back and made the switch, his desire to Prowl very strong. "Done."

"All right, you," Ratchet called out to the waiting room and stepped aside in time for Prowl to sweep in, his doorwings high and tight and features tense.

"Jazz?" Prowl asked, a universe of questions held in the designation as he came to a step an arm's length away from his lover.

"Prowl?" Question for question and so much hope in the response as Jazz focused completely on the Praxian, the rest of the room's occupants forgotten.

Prowl's smile lit up the room and drained every bit of tension in it.

"It worked," Prowl's smile warmed as he stepped forward and drew Jazz close. "You still sound like yourself too."

"That was the goal." Jazz answered, melting against Prowl and still not quite believing that he was speaking to Prowl normally. "Happy?"

"Yes," Prowl's engine purred softly. "I'll be even happier if your original voice works as well, in private."

Jazz smirked, nuzzling against him. "It does." Which was going to result in a discussion of when Jazz was going to be able to use it in public, but that was a topic that could wait.

"Not in my clinic," Ratchet growled at them. "Scoot. You're clear to go to your quarters and enjoy the night. I'll see you midmorning."

Jolted back to reality, Jazz got the impression that excuses were not going to be tolerated. Instead he looked at Prowl. "Sounds like I'm clear to go."

"Good," the Praxian purred before inclining his head and doorwings to Jazz's creators, then drew Jazz from the room, almost tucking him under one doorwing as they walked through the grand palace of the Prime to the lavish guest quarters they had been granted.

Jazz didn't fight it, in fact he reveled in the closeness and possessiveness Prowl was displaying. Especially now, when they both knew his voice wasn't a factor. Prowl was doing this for Jazz. No matter what had brought them together, it was no longer the defining factor.

When the door shut the rest of the universe out, Prowl turned Jazz around to face him and kissed him, his glossa ghosting across Jazz's lips for admittance.

The response was instant, willing and eager. Giving and taking, sharing and owning. They moaned into each other's mouths, glossa gliding across glossa.

Almost reluctantly Prowl broke the kiss and guided Jazz back, pinning him lightly against the wall as he kissed his way along Jazz's jaw, then down his throat.

The smaller mech shivered at the familiar sensation over new components, deep as they were. Knowing hands traced over the Praxian frame he had come to know so well, seeking for anything new amid what he already knew as effective. He flared his field, silently asking his lover to join him and weave them together.

Prowl smiled against Jazz's throat, his glossa playing at the tubing as he responded, pushing his field deep into Jazz before focusing on weaving them together to share sensations.

"I want to hear this new voice of yours thick with pleasure," Prowl growled, his engine revving hard against Jazz's chassis. His hands moved down Jazz's sides, teasing seams.

Jazz moaned, the vibrations and the hands on his sides were wonderful, but the pure bliss of the sharing was his focus, laid before Prowl as offering and request for more. "Won't have to wait long, if ya keep that up."

"Good," he purred as he began to kiss his way down Jazz's chassis, his fingers working Jazz's sides while his glossa found one of Jazz's headlights. With their fields so well merged Jazz felt how hot, how good this felt for Prowl. Physical pleasure might be minimal, but the arousal was intense.

Part of him felt that he should be giving something in return, but it was so nice to simply be the cause of that arousal. Especially like this, where he was able to feel so much. "Feels so good when ya do that."

"This?" Prowl teasingly licked the other headlight. "Or this?" his fingers dug into Jazz's side seams. "Or is this better?" he whispered as he slipped lower, kneeling so he could kiss his way down Jazz's abdominal armor.

"Ya asking me to pick?" Jazz gasped, pushing into the touch on his side as a hand came around to stroke Prowl's helm.

"Just asking you to enjoy," Prowl purred as he moved lower, gradually finding his way to slide his glossa along the seams of Jazz's upper interface panel.

The teasing touch pulled whimpers from Jazz, just how much he was enjoying everything that Prowl was doing shining clear and bright through their twined fields. "Enjoying... so much. And you."

"Good," Prowl purred deeply, thrusting his field deep into Jazz before going back to teasing the panel. "Open for me, lover."

Even if he wanted to Jazz couldn't have resisted the command. Prowl knew him too well, knew just how to make his circuits sing as the panel slid away. That sinfully skilled mouth was over his spike housing before it could even begin to slip free. A glossa that knew entirely too much teased the tip, lavishing attention on the sensitive head.

"Prowl..." If the mech was expecting him to talk he was doing a damn good job of robbing him of all ability to speak. For a moment all Jazz could do was moan as he struggled for some sort of control.

::Moaning is just fine, my Jazz,:: Prowl cooed over their private comm as he coaxed Jazz's spike to extend and pressurize into his mouth. ::No need to hold back,:: he added, thrusting his field deep into his lover even as he pushed how good it felt to have the mech's spike in his mouth and under his glossa into it.

If pulling a sound of pure pleasure from Jazz was the Praxian's goal he was well rewarded as Jazz welcomed the field mixed with his own as much as the sensation around his spike. It felt so good to please Prowl and let his voice show how good it felt without driving the Praxian out of his mind with need.

Then strong white fingers stroked the edges of his valve cover, teasing, asking.

Jazz managed to regain some sort of control, a loving smile appearing as he looked down at the beautiful mech that belonged to him.

"Only if I get to have these." He bargained playfully, fingertips running over the top edge of Prowl's doorwings, cover sliding away to expose the valve without waiting for an answer. Two fingers slid inside him slowly as doorwings pressed upwards into his hands, excitement and intense pleasure rippling from one field to the next and back as the pair worked to push each other higher, over the edge.

Jazz quivered and moaned, leaning more against the wall for support but never taking his hands off those beautiful doorwings. It was different, being able to let go at the intense sensations, waves of pleasure flowing back with the sounds escaping him that had nothing to do with any special affect his voice had other than Prowl's personal enjoyment of getting him worked up. This was what lovers should be and he had it.

He was not going to give it up for anything either.

His entire chassis trembling, Jazz let out a long, low moan at the dual assault to his interface array. He wasn't going to be able to hold off much longer. Possessive desire and an awareness of the charge building in his systems and tickling over his plating filled him, spilling over to Prowl.

"Together." Question statement, knowing what he wanted but wanting to please Prowl at the same time. To share pleasure simply because they wanted to.

Jazz moved his hands, fingers pressing on the sensor rich side of the doorwings and sweeping out to the edges with just the right amount of pressure so that Prowl moaned around his spike, his field rushing with pleasure.

::Together,:: Prowl agreed, loosening his doorwing joints to flare them outward, giving Jazz even more access as his fingers found one of the major node clusters in Jazz's valve and rubbed against it. ::Overload for me, Jazz. I'm close.::

A few more sweeps over the doorwings, even as close as he was so Prowl knew how much it all meant, before he lost control and fell, the rush of energy pulling Prowl's name from him shamelessly. He only kept enough awareness in those first few nanokliks to feel Prowl cry out around his spike before the Praxian's overload thrust enough through their entwined fields to white out Jazz's processor.

The Protihexian drifted back to consciousness on his back, on a very soft berth, with a warm, purring chassis curled around him.

Jazz shifted and nuzzled at the Praxians neck. "Mine."

"Yours," Prowl purred and drew Jazz closer. "Mine. I think I love your new voice as much as your original one."

Jazz clung to him, thankfulness filling him as the pale ghost of fear that Prowl would leave him after an answer was found was laid to rest.

"Do you want to talk, now that we actually can?" Prowl asked softly, his touches light and soothing more than arousing.

"Yes." From a functional level a comm was just as efficient as using his voice to communicate, but there was something about hearing and speaking actual words that Jazz had missed terribly. A thought occurred to him, slipping out without real consideration. "Sideswipe will be pleased, at least."

"That it worked?" Prowl arched an optic ridge.

Jazz laughed softly, happy as he realized he could do that again too, and explained. "That I can talk again. He has informed me that the trick was usually getting me to shut up. He was disturbed by how quiet I was, even after you left. Especially after you left."

"I'm looking forward to hearing your voice, both of them, often," Prowl's engine purred. "Have you thought of how you wish to handle Sirenis?"

The smaller mech shifted, thoughtful. "I've thought about it, but a lot of it comes down to what your comfortable with an willin' to tolerate."

Prowl hummed softly. "Do you share much as Sirenis?"

"No. I do my best to avoid it. It cuts down on problems."

"And you get those chits for every city you visit?" Prowl asked. He was fairly sure he already knew the answer, but this was too important to go on second hand information when he had the source right here with him.

"Every city, every time, any more." Jazz confirmed. That was one lesson he had learned the hard way and had no desire to repeat.

"Then as long as you don't miss important events with me, I cannot think of a reason for you to cut back," he leaned over for a soft kiss. "You enjoy it."

He had enjoyed it. Performing as Sirenis was a rush, a thrill, his high before he had met and fallen in love Prowl. "I'll run any offers past ya before I accept." That should keep him out of trouble, and he had other things to distract him now.

"A fair arrangement," Prowl murmured, his field conveying his contentment as effectively as his chassis and voice. "Who knows you are Sirenis among your family?"

"My creators. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, they know pretty much everything. Skygrace probably knows, but he's never mentioned anything one way or the other. Willow and Serenity simply believe I like to travel."

"Do you intend to tell them, since my entire family knows?" Prowl asked gently, his fingers stroking Jazz's arm. "It would make things less awkward if both families know."

"Skygrace and Willow should know. I'll only tell Serenity if we no longer want it to be a secret- she couldn't keep one to save her spark right now." He leaned against Prowl, seeking more contact then the soothing touch on his arm. "I might be better off just retiring Sirenis."

"You could perform as yourself," Prowl suggested, hoping Jazz would continue to do something that pleased him. "What harm would come if you were outed, rather than retire him?

"Probably not much." Jazz admitted. "Ya said yourself that stage names are common with performers, and it would just be another noble playing a game, from most points of view. It would mostly be things I've come to appreciate missin', I think. Honest feedback. Things are different when you are royal."

Prowl nodded and tipped Jazz's chin up to kiss him. "Then don't retire him. You enjoy singing and it will give you something to do that you enjoy while I work. I have a duty to my city, and my own desires in the enforcers. I will never have the amount of free time you have."

Jazz's field brushed against Prowl's, summing up what sometimes there were no words for. Contentment. Thanks. Love. "We'll see. I have no commitments, except the one."

"Me?" Prowl sounded hopeful but not sure.

"For you, anytime." Jazz brushed his lips softly over Prowl's as the Praxian relaxed. "Just say when, anything. Perhaps I should have said Sirenis has a performance commitment."

"Ah," Prowl hummed in contentment. "The solar festival." He ran his fingers down Jazz's side. "I'm looking forward to when your commitments there are done to ravish you."

"You really need to wait that long?" The smaller mech teased, understanding but unable to resist.

"I have no intention of it," he laughed easily before claiming Jazz's mouth once more. "But I am looking forward to the intensity of listening, having to wait, then having my way with you when duties are final over."

"Oh dear." Jazz purred softly, reigning in the desire that raced through him at the suggestion before frowning, reaching up to stroke Prowl's face. "Ya don't have to come to the performance, ya know."

"I know," Prowl assured him. "My creators made sure I understood I would not be expected at any performance Sirenis gave. I want to listen, to get that charged up, to indulge afterwards."

Jazz shook his head in amused affection. Who was he to deny the mech? "Just give me time to get off the stage. And change."

"And down a couple cubes of high grade," Prowl purred teasingly, his fingers growing bold once more. "I don't want you to be worn out before I get to you."

"If I can change into Sirenis the orn before it won't be as bad. That time I transformed too close together. And I fear your sister too much to risk that again." The high grade would definitely help, though the rush from simply performing would make things fun.

"Mmm, as long as it's safe," Prowl hummed. "Knowing it's you I don't find Sirenis' form objectionable. You did have an attractive one designed for him."

"I'll change early enough that it shouldn't be a problem and you can decide if ya like it." He smirked a little. "Performer is as performer appears. That form was meant to be everything that I am not."

Prowl raised an optic ridge. "In what way?"

"Flashy. Optic catching. Attractive." Jazz listed, relaxing against the Praxian.

"I may be biased, but you are quite attractive," Prowl kissed him gently and pulled him a little closer. "I will grant you that his form is far flashier and optic catching."

"Which was the point. Not going to protest if ya are biased in my favor though." He cuddled, content. "So who all is attending the festival?"

"Mmm, it should be everyone," Prowl relaxed, his field so tightly entwined with Jazz's that they could feel the state of the other's processors in detail. "I was the only one given leave to be absent."

"I heard Springer was going to try and make it a date. Anything ever come of that?" Jazz was easy to read at the moment. Slightly playful. Wonder, still adjusting to the fact that he could talk to the mech in his arms and not worry about causing a scene. Content to be there with Prowl.

"He tried," Prowl shook his head. "Hot Rod's creator objected. Again. I don't know how long Lord Prime can keep them apart, but he's trying."

"Springer is that determined?"

"Oh yes," Prowl chuckled. "When he wants something, nothing stops him. Hot Rod likes him too. He's just too militant for Prime to be happy about it."

While Jazz could see the objections..."There are worse things Springer could be. And the mech would never be in any danger, with your brother watching out for him."

"Yes, but Springer would also encourage Hot Rod's more volatile nature, behavior that is not in the best interest of Cybertron considering that Hot Rod is expected to be our next Lord Prime," Prowl explained. "Politically and for Cybertron, Hot Rod should have a calm, politically minded and gentle mate. Someone to temper his nature, not encourage it."

Jazz hummed softly as he considered this, suddenly distracted. "Very true. I hadn't thought of that. Which means it's a good thing there are those who think like ya around."

"Is something wrong?" Prowl focused on him, on the ripple in his field.

"Ya know from that list your everything he needs." Jazz pointed out very quietly, distress growing despite his attempts to hide it. After all, what did the youngest son of a royal house, for all its prominence, have to offer compared to the creation and potential heir of the Lord Prime? Or to the will of the Prime himself?

"Perhaps, but Optimus Prime is unlikely to order it and Hot Rod even less likely to comply if he did," Prowl murmured. "I am far from the only one with those traits, and I am formally in a committed relationship now. It would be ... awkward ... for him."

Jazz nodded, relaxing some though not completely reassured.

"There is one way to make sure he can't call on me," Prowl offered.

Jazz tilted his head to looking into his lover optics, at a loss. "And how is that?"

"Once we bond, not even the Lord Prime can break it," Prowl smiled as he leaned in for a kiss.

Longing, excitement, and just a touch of fear at the unknown swept through Jazz and into Prowl as their lips met. It was true- a bond was sacred and not even the Prime himself would dare act against one. He moaned into the kiss as Prowl's field began to flicker with desire and his hands played along Jazz's sides. The desire was echoed and returned, and with it came a sense of question and searching for intent, tempered by complete trust.

"Did you want to talk about anything else?" Prowl asked with a teasing smile as he broke the kiss.

"Not after you start doing that." The teasing tone matched Prowl's, and the hands that were slowly creeping towards a couple of particularly sensitive spots on the Praxian's frame were suggestions themselves.

"Good," Prowl kissed him, his hands teasing side seams. "Because I haven't gotten enough of being with you." Another kiss. "As lovely as your new voice is, I like the pleasure more."

"Which pleasure?" Fingers ghosted across Prowl's frame, just touching on points before moving on to the next and finally stopping to hover just shy of the Praxian's doorwings.

"All of it," he murmured. "Those you are always welcome to," he shivered and arched the doorwings forward, right into Jazz's hands. "I'd like to try spark play, a little ... if you're willing."

Knowing fingers worked over the doorwings, tempting and exciting without doing too much distracting as Jazz contemplated the idea. Lips brushed over Prowl's. "More than willing."

Prowl shivered, his engine roaring and field flooded with arousal at the memory of the one time he'd bared his spark chamber to a lover. It was still the most intense experience he'd had, but this might well be more. To touch Jazz's spark...

The Praxian's vents opened fully as fans kicked up a gear, his systems heating quickly just in anticipation.

Just feeling Prowl's arousal was enough to excite Jazz and focus him. He caught Prowl in a kiss, long and demanding, before asking firmly. "Pleasure?"

"Yes, just pleasure," Prowl trembled, his hand ghosting over Jazz's armor above his spark. Without any further prompting, Prowl unlocked his chest plates and began to slide them apart.

Jazz purred softly, in awe as he just admired his lover's brilliant icy-blue spark that glittered and pulsed between them for moment.

"Beautiful." he murmured, tracing the edges of Prowl's armor and sliding closer to the spark casing, his own chest plates sliding open in response, revealing his rich, almost electric blue spark to Prowl for the first time.

And suddenly Prowl was nervous. Arousal, want was still hot in his systems, but a flicker of uncertainty crossed his field as well.

Jazz paused, fingers stroking over Prowl's armor gently, making no attempt to hide his own desire. "Doubts, love?" His field flared stronger, leaving no question as to how much he was looking forward to feeling Prowl on an even deeper level.

"No doubts," Prowl assured him quickly. "I've ... never ... at the party was the first time I've bared my spark to anyone."

Jazz purred all the more, delighted at the thought that he was the only one to have viewed this amazing sight. "All mine. And so perfect."

"All yours," Prowl relaxed a little and reached out to caress the edge of Jazz's chamber.

The smaller mech quivered, spark leaping at the touch, wanting and hungry in a way that was contagious, rippling through him into Prowl.

"Have you touched sparks?" Prowl moaned at the intensity of the reaction and repeated the caress, enjoying the power he had to create such sensations.

"Once. A long time ago." Jazz answered, honest, and smiled a little in the next deep moan when he felt Prowl relax a lot more. That first time had been a mech carefully selected and tested by the twins before he was ever allowed near their little brother. It had been nice and decidedly educational, but that mech had not been Prowl. It hadn't been someone that Jazz wanted with all of his spark like he wanted the Praxian. "Nothing like this."

Prowl drew in a deep vent of air in a vain effort to cool himself. "Your twin brothers. To make sure you knew how."

"Sideswipe and Sunstreaker have always looked out for me." Jazz agreed. He was going to have to thank them for that sometime. He reached out, running a finger lightly over the casing shielding the spark he so desired right now.

A low whimper escaped Prowl and he arched his chest into the contact. The chamber spiraled open without a conscious command, the spark inside reaching out tendrils for its mate. It settled on entangling Jazz's fingers instead, zapping the rich covering of pressure-sensitive sensors there.

Jazz stretched the moment, reveling in the sounds he pulled from Prowl before giving in and exposing his own spark and catching Prowl's helm, pulling him into a kiss as their sparks reached out. The first touch of tendrils caused both mechs to keen from the intensity that wasn't even a sensation with a name yet.

Prowl's hands found Jazz's hips and dragged him closer. His optics were off but his glossa active against Jazz's as their sparks demanded the frames move closer, allow them closer.

Attention shifted from the kiss to the pull in his spark, the need and want causing Jazz to grab Prowl's shoulders instead, melding their frames together and allowing their sparks true contact.

The two sparks crashed into each other, melding and sharing energy with an abandon that not even the deep pleasure merge Jazz had experienced could compare with. Prowl nearly screamed, half terrified by the intensity that took over his body, his processors, his very sense of self, but he didn't let go and his spark only dove deeper into Jazz's, uncaring of the state of the processor it powered.

A push that was welcomed, the fear soothed by a wordless promise that all was right as the lines that defined that which was Prowl and the individual which was Jazz blurred. The sense of physical self dimmed, secondary to the soul sharing that was so much more intense than physical touch could ever be.

As suddenly as it came, Prowl's panic receded as he welcomed, embraced, all that was Jazz into himself and offered everything in return.

Snatches of memory drifted along lines of the pleasure. The intensity, the physical pleasure, of the first time Prowl had slid his mouth down around a spike. The matching pleasure kissing brought. The enjoyment of feeling a lover in his mouth, against his glossa. A half-flicker of it being as good as the best energon confection ... how incredibly erotic and pleasurable it was to paint and then lick a lover clean of energon gel.

Acceptance of what brought Prowl pleasure, and in return the pure joy that radiated from Jazz at being so close to someone. To feel and know someone completely, to be surrounded by someone who loved him and how much it worked for Jazz to just feel a through another when he brought them pleasure.

~My wings?~ Prowl murmured in an odd mixture of contentment and intense pleasure.

~Beautiful. Different.~ And then the sense of why they were so wonderful that was harder to put into words. They were something that Jazz didn't have. Something that allowed him to bring pleasure to Prowl in a way that Jazz enjoyed as well. And just the simple fact that they were part of Prowl, part of what made the Praxian so handsome and wonderful.

A low, throaty hum sounded between them as Prowl accepted it ... and let go of his awareness a bit more. Less agreeable memories flickered up. Prowl on his hands and knees, his legs spread, another mech behind him. Gently worded instructions to turn off the defective programming that made him slick, the sweetly voiced apologies as pain tore through his circuits from his valve as a spike pressed into the unprepared space. Encouragement to focus on his doorwings as they were stroked and manipulated by skilled hands until Prowl's moans were of pleasure instead of pain. The relief-pleasure when the other mech overloaded and slick fluid exploded into his valve.

A brief recoil of the other presence as that was processed and analyzed, then the rushing return of Jazz to wrap around Prowl, anger and disgust at what had been done to Prowl shoved aside in favor of assuring that would never be asked of him again, to voluntarily endure pain for the pleasure of another. That he was loved and wanted now for who he was, not just for what he could give.

There was sadness as well, at the idea that something he so loved and enjoyed had been used against the mech he loved and the wonder if he could do that again, knowing what he did now.

~You showed me how to enjoy it,~ Prowl's awareness drifted uneasily between regret for sharing and refusing to regret a memory that was a foundation of his desires.

Acceptance of that, of Prowl as he was, but unwilling to acknowledge that there was any rightness to what Prowl had been subjected to. ~Not defective.~

~It wasn't one way,~ Prowl tried to defend his first lover, his first love, the mech he'd expected to spend his functioning with until he was suddenly gone. ~He always insisted I take him, either before or after.~

For a moment Jazz still struggled, then backed away from that, but not from Prowl. Then from him the first hint of doubt that he would be enough for Prowl, despite the deep feelings that resided in his spark for the Praxian.

~Why?~ Prowl murmured, his spark snuggling closer against its counterpart, trying to coax an understanding from it. Causing Jazz to doubt had never been his intention. He just didn't want Crisp Wing to be reviled for something Prowl couldn't hate him for.

It wasn't hate, but knowledge that it was something he wasn't sure he could give Prowl, despite his desire to give Prowl everything the mech could need or want. It was fear of falling short.

~I love you.~

~You give me something different,~ Prowl caressed him tenderly. ~I don't want that from you. I don't want to hurt.~

For now, that was answer enough, the caress savored and returned. This was changing them both, and Jazz was willing to see it through, wanting to see it through.

Focusing on the sense that was Prowl, Jazz reached out, his spark pushing against Prowl's affectionately as the other mech surrendered his sense of self a little more to the pleasure and desire of their sparks.

A low moan rumbled up from one of them as their sparks had enough of thinking and talking and fully embraced each other, merging all the way to their cores as the chassis's they supported stiffened and lost all coherency to the exquisite ecstasy of a spark overload.

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 13: Without Intent

Jazz shivered in anticipation. He was going to sing for Prowl tonight, a private performance of love songs in his original voice interspersed with cooling the charge in his lover's systems. It was going to be intense in every sense, and he fully intended to merge their sparks often tonight for that ultimate intimacy he found he craved ever since the first time three decaorns ago.

They had been planning this quietly between the two of them since the trial run to see if his original voice was still enough to drive Prowl mad. If anything, the longer the mech had to wait the more intense the effect was, making the evening all the more enjoyable.

He had thought field play was nice, and it was still one of his private addictions. But there was something about feeling and knowing Prowl and being able to bring him pleasure and happiness through spark merging that brought Jazz a special kind of contentment.

The fact that his lover thoroughly enjoyed it as well made it all the better and right.

Out of nowhere two arms grabbed him from behind and pulled him flush with a hot chassis thrumming with arousal and a familiar EM field wrapped around him.

"Ready to sing, my Jazz?" Prowl rumbled, playing his fingers down Jazz's sides.

"For you? Always." Jazz purred as he pressed back into the warm frame, allowing the heat to bleed over and mingle with his own excitement, the rush at the just the thought of what he was about to do enough to send a shiver through him.

"Then, what rules do you want in place for me?" Prowl asked, his voice low and sultry.

Jazz hummed softly to himself as he considered. "No touching me while I'm singin', even if I touch you. I'm fair game once the music's done, but ya might have to catch me." A sly purr as a hand trailed down Prowl's hip and thigh.

"Oh, I think I can manage," Prowl revved his engine and leaned down to kiss him hotly. "This is my home. I know all the tricks."

"Challenge." An answering rev from Jazz, hot and passionate. With a smirk he added a small disclaimer. "Rules subject to change, of course."

Prowl huffed. "Only for you." He kissed his lover intently. "Only for you."

"I'll take that exception." Jazz agreed between kisses, turning in Prowl's arms and pushing lightly at the mech to guide him backwards. There was no resistance to maneuvering his lover to the Praxian's berth.

Once there, Prowl settled himself into a sensuous sprawl, one displaying his doorwings prominently.

"Sing for me, my Jazz," Prowl looked up at him with anticipation and adoration.

Silence as Jazz captured Prowl's lips in a kiss, gentle and sweet until he whispered almost too softly to be heard in the rich voice that had snared the Praxian in the first place. "Always."

And backing away, his entire attention focused on an audience of one, Jazz began to sing. It was glorious to watch his beautiful Praxian quiver and whimper with every note. Every subtle fluctuation of tone, pitch and tempo producing a slightly different response, though every one of them was rich in unabashed pleasure.

Prowl's optics remained locked on Jazz. Every line, tube and circuit in his chassis singing along with the passionate song of lovers bonding and living together against all odds and the will of everyone around them. His spark wanted to leap from his chest to chase its mate but he forced himself to keep his chest plates closed as his hands roved his chassis, putting on a show of his own as he mirrored the carnal desires Jazz sang of.

The song came to an end and it took Jazz a moment to compose himself, not even trying to look anywhere but at the glorious form on the berth. Forcing himself to think for moment Jazz selected another song.

Soft and suggestive, this one telling of loving and longing as Jazz glided across the floor to the berth, hovering around the Praxian just out of reach.

Instead of reaching for his lover, Prowl turned around, presenting his doorwings to his lover, knowing how much Jazz loved them. They waved and quivered, temping Jazz as Prowl looked over his shoulder and reached back to stroke the top edges firmly, causing himself to groan hotly.

The warmth radiating off Jazz jumped at the sight, but instead of giving in he leaned closer, taking advantage of the sensor rich sides so wonderfully displayed for him, and the fact that it sent his voice directly into Prowl's spark.

A deep, need-filled groan escaped Prowl as he worked his doorwings harder, his spark throbbing in its chamber, sending out heavy pulses of energy into his systems.

Hands joined Prowl's on the doorwings, stroking and teasing, wanting to watch his lover overload. If Prowl was going to put on a show he was not above playing along. Jazz felt the surge of energy tear through Prowl and into him almost immediately as Prowl keened in ecstasy.

Finishing the song Jazz tipped Prowls head around for a kiss and backed away, admiring the overload lax doorwings, the pleasure-etched face, the scent of hot ozone and crackle of energy as the last of the charge began to dissipate.

Then Prowl lazily shifted to his back, his doorwings splayed attractively as his hands ghosted over his chassis, pausing to pay special attention to the area over his spark chamber and his interface panel.

Jazz moaned softly at the sight, appreciative. Then his visor brightened, taking it as a challenge. "Rule change."

He stalked forward, showy, displaying himself to a prospective mate. Leaning down, he whispered to Prowl. "This song, no touching, and at the end..." He let the suggestion hang, giving Prowl a chance to refuse.

"Your spark is mine," Prowl rumbled, trembling at the challenge and the prize he'd named.

"All yours and only yours- when you catch me." Jazz agreed, slipping out of reach once more.

This time there was a new element to the song as Jazz danced, using voice and body to weave a web of temptation, a web meant for only one mech.

He sang of searching and finding love, of bonding and living and sharing. He sang of forever as he danced, inviting and offering, optics never leaving the one he desired. The only one he wanted.

That mech was trembling uncontrollably, all pretense of putting on a show for Jazz long forgotten as he crawled to the edge of the berth. His doorwings quivered, waving to catch every vibration as tortured sounds of arousal and need escaped him.

Nearly white optics followed Jazz's every movement as Prowl's armor expanded and fans worked furiously to cool him against his skyrocketing core temperature.

Touching on forever once more the song came to an end, Jazz beckoning, inviting Prowl to come, to claim that what was being offered. He'd barely positioned himself so the expected lunge would take him against a wall and not to the floor before the Praxian moved in a flurry of white and black with a streak of red and Jazz's mouth was claimed, his back against the wall and white hands all over him.

Prowl couldn't make himself be patient. He could only hope that his love was as aroused and ready as he needed to be as his fingers dug against the black valve cover, demanding in a way he never was with a lover.

Unlike his lover Jazz hadn't overloaded yet, and he was desperate for release. The cover slid away, the valve behind already dripping and ready as Jazz welcomed the attention, hand slipping around to tease at the doorwings as needy moans escaped him, uncensored. He threw his head back with an ecstatic cry as Prowl thrust into him, deep and hard in a single movement.

They both held there, Prowl sheathed fully in Jazz's body for a tense, blissful moment before Prowl's hands found Jazz's hips and helped support the slightly smaller mech as he pulled back and drove back in.

It was desperate, intensity fueled by passion and desire, Jazz's hands seeking and teasing as fields blended and he voiced his pleasure for Prowl to hear. He felt the hard push of his lover's field in time with the thrusts of his hips as Prowl neared the edge of a second overload. Felt that only an incredible act of will was holding Prowl on that pinnacle.

"Please, with me," Prowl gasped, trembling uncontrollably as he sought to drive his lover to overload before he lost himself to it.

The request, voiced and felt, was enough, the release of energy racing through Jazz and into Prowl, granting them both relief in a bliss that shattered the ability to think, to act in any way but to chase the overload to its brilliant conclusion.

"Spark," Prowl's voice was shaky but just as desperate as before. His hips never stopped, driving into Jazz right through the overload and working them to another. He didn't have to ask again. Jazz nodded against Prowl's neck, simply clinging to the Praxian for a moment as he found the ability to move again.

Turning his head he kissed Prowl, chest plates sliding away, offering Prowl the prize agreed upon, eagerly wanting the merge and the closeness he so craved. He wasn't even fully aware of Prowl's chest plates opening until Prowl was there, inside him, intimate and open and desiring in a way no other joining could compare to.

~Love you, want you, be mine,~ Prowl's mental litany was barely words but came through clear and strong.

Without really consciously considering what he was doing Jazz responded to the request. His own spark went deeper than it had ever been, past the surface, seeking the very essence of Prowl with everything he was, wanting to feel the mech he loved with all his spark in his spark.

~Love you with everything. Want to stand by you through anything we may face. Yours as you are mine.~

~Yours. Mine,~ Prowl's spark and processors cried out joyfully as they welcomed Jazz in deep, opening up without reservation everything he was. Memories, good and bad, flowed freely along with how they had made Prowl the mech he was. Dreams for the future. Fears. Nothing was held back.

The openness was matched without reservation, everything that made Jazz Jazz on display. His love of family. His love of music. His joy in simply living and how everything flowed together to make who he was.

And now the new component that added another dimension to Jazz, his love of Prowl. Displayed proudly and offered to the other mech for approval and acceptance...or rejection.

~Love you,~ Prowl's spark shivered with unabashed joy as Jazz's love was embraced and rejoiced even as Prowl offered his own adoration and trust of Jazz in return.

With that acknowledgment Jazz let go of really thinking, leaving words for feeling, for loving Prowl as he lost himself in the other mech. He let go. He loved Prowl. He trusted Prowl. He wanted Prowl. And Prowl loved, trusted and wanted him in return.

Their moans and trembling were lost to them as they delved deeper, becoming a single spark with two lifetimes of memories but a single goal - to face the future as one.

Warmth, peace, comfort. All of it so close to his spark that it was the first thing he noticed as his systems slowly came back online. It was that comfort that allowed the powering up of internal systems first.

Memories of singing to Prowl. Of how his beautiful Praxian had pinned him against the wall and taken him with desperate need. And the glorious merge that had followed, the most amazing thing that he had ever experienced.

External sensors started to function, linking up with the memories and the present. They were in Prowl's berthroom, but on the floor and against the wall instead of on the berth. Prowl's larger frame was pinning his in place. Freeing an arm he reached up to trace fingers over Prowl's faceplates, stealing a gentle kiss as the other mech started to come around.


~Love you,~ Prowl murmured in reply, physically not yet powered up but enough of him coherent to recognize the intent and reply.

Then the Praxian stiffened, not physically, but mentally. ~Jazz?~

The change was noticed instantly, Jazz pulling back from where he had been affectionately nuzzling at Prowl's neck. ~What?~

~We are not ... speaking,~ he replied cautiously.

~Of course we-.~ The comment came to an abrupt halt as Jazz's processor caught up with what he had been doing. Panicking a little he stared at Prowl in shock, frame beginning to tremble. "We weren't. But we were..."

~Speaking through our sparks, I believe,~ Prowl said, uneasy and thrilled all at once as his spark refused to be upset at what his processors were still struggling with while he finished booting up.

Jazz's helm fell forward to rest against Prowl's shoulder as he held the mech closer at the revelation, processor trying to work through the implications of that. They had been able to speak through their sparks when merged, one of the little things about merging that Jazz had enjoyed.

But their sparks were no longer touching, safely hidden away behind armor and plating. Unless they were still touching...

"Prowl. Did we...we're..."

"Bonded," he nodded slightly against his lover and brought his arms up to wrap around Jazz, holding him close. "I ... can not say I regret it. Even if our families will be furious with us."

~I don't.~ Furious was probably an understatement, but Jazz could not find it in his spark to regret what had happened. Playing with the new feeling in his spark as he pushed love and a conviction of rightness at Prowl. ~And nothing says we have to tell them right away...~

Curiosity bubbled up from Prowl's side shortly before a sense of distinct physical discomfort. ~We should move to the berth before one of us is damaged. How can we not tell our creators?~ The over-developed logic centers in Prowl's cortex began to cause panic. Not at the bond, there was still no regret for it, but at the political and social implications of the timing and circumstance.

"Move." Jazz ordered firmly, Prowl's discomfort bleeding over to him and immediately taking top priority.

Despite his own insistence Jazz moved slowly, wincing a little as tense cables were forced into motion, joints still locked from the shock of energy that had raced through them protested. They could discuss this once he got the Praxian some place more comfortable. As he stood with Prowl it registered exactly what had focused his lover's attention when a half-pressurized spike slid from his valve at an awkward angle and Prowl groaned in a mixture of discomfort and relief.

They were both grateful to collapse on the berth, though it was Prowl who pulled Jazz close for a tender, lingering but chaste kiss.

Snuggled against his mate Jazz reached out, stroking plating in a comforting rhythm as he started to really think. ~Why do we need to tell them now?~

Prowl felt startled even as he physically relaxed. ~Because ... Jazz, we're bonded. How can we not tell our creators? The ceremony, politics ... they agreed we could court, get to know each other. They never agreed to bind their Houses through us.~

Visor went dark as Jazz considered, hands still in motion since that seemed to be helping Prowl some. ~The ceremony is a formality, we both know that. My creators...they'd never allowed the courting if they weren't agreeable to the idea that we'd end up bonding eventually.~

~Mine as well,~ Prowl consented, the physical stimulation beginning to help his processors settle. ~It is not the bonding that will be objected it. It is the timing.~ He paused, intense discomfort welling up. ~After Crisp Wing they will panic to find me bonded so quickly. Three vorns and they had no clue what ... that he didn't treat me they way they expected. I was happy. I would have been happy and bonded to him now if he hadn't crashed. Nothing, even looking into him afterward told them what they should have seen.~ His spark cried out in pain at what he knew Jazz would face if Springer learned. ~They will never believe you are not hurting me.~

Jazz latched on to Prowl, holding him close physically and reaching out to him through the spark connection, attempting to soothe his mate.

While he accepted the fact that Prowl had been happy he still could not understand it. There was nothing in that relationship that he had seen that had been healthy or truly good. And the treatment of his mate was something that he was less happy about than Prowl's family. The idea of treating the mech in his arms with anything less than the utmost respect and love was beyond him.

~Would never hurt you.~

~I know,~ Prowl focused all his certainty on the bond, all his understanding of how different Jazz was from Crisp Wing. ~I know, my Jazz. But my family, they have no way to know how different you are. They want to believe, they want you to be good for me, to me, but it was six vorns and they saw nothing to worry about. Bonded after three decaorns would cause absolute panic.~

~All the more reason to put off telling them for a while. Let them see the truth for themselves. It's not like they can undo it...~ Jazz leaned into Prowl.

While it was not usually the wisest course of action, for once delaying the truth might diminish the reaction. His own creators and older siblings would be irritated at his disobedience, and very displeased at the scandal were the truth to reach the general public, but that would be most of the objection to the situation. If they could buy enough time for Prowl's family to come around to the idea that Jazz could be everything they wanted for Prowl...

~I will try,~ Prowl promised, deeply uncertain if he could lie, even by omittance, to his creators. Especially about something so important, something that made him so happy and wanted to show the entire universe.

Jazz was his. Uncontested, uncontestable. It left him giddy just thinking about it.

~We both will, and if we mess up we can deal with it then. Unless ya really would rather just tell 'em.~ And Jazz meant it. He would stand by Prowl whichever direction the mech chose. He had made that promise, and meant it when he made it. Especially now that there was no chance that someone could take Prowl from him.

Prowl shook his head. ~You have enough to prove to them already. I don't wish to add to that burden.~

~The prize is worth it.~ Jazz smirked, stealing a kiss before continuing on a more serious note. ~I'm thinkin' the best thing would be actin' like nothing's changed in public.~

~Mmm, which means making out, spending as much time in a berth as possible and generally making everyone wonder if either of us will come out again,~ Prowl actually snickered. ~I think I can manage that.~

~Very attractive and manageable, though since I am officially here for a visit, and since I can speak to you in public now, I am sure we are going to be required to make an appearance every now and then. I still wouldn't object to the tour you promised me, and I could probably find a nice bonus for the guide at the end.~ Jazz purred.

~I think we can manage that,~ Prowl shivered in anticipation and claimed a heated kiss. ~Though we should find someone who knows how to nurture a strong bond to find out what we should do. When even the lowest caste takes many orns off to settle a new bond, there is something medically important to the custom.~

Jazz purred softly in agreement. Primus knew he wanted a strong bond with the mech. ~Agreed. You have someone in mind?~

~No one I trust not to tell,~ Prowl admitted.

~We'll figure something out. And the time we can have, if we play it right.~ Asking anyone in his family was bound to get him in trouble pretty quickly, since answers would doubtless be accompanied with curiosity as to why Jazz wanted to know this early in courting someone. Curiosity that was best avoided all together/

Concerns faded into the background as comforting cuddling faded into recharge, wrapped in safe embrace and curious joy of the newly bonded.

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 14: Cornered by Fire and Ice

Prowl stood on a low balcony, watching Jazz socialize freely in the crowd below. His doorwings twitched unhappily and he sent a reassuring pulse to his bonded before Jazz could even ask what was wrong. He knew he had no need to feel so possessive of Jazz's time, his energy and joy in functioning that Prowl had never possessed and was irrationally needy of.

A glance in Prowl's direction assured Jazz that his bonded was facing no other source of distress, but love and the sudden need to be with Prowl sparked in him from the quick touch caused him to reply anyway. ~I'll be up in a kilk love. Just need to wrap up a bit down here.~

~No hurry,~ Prowl assured him with all the love and honest he could. ~You know I won't actually be hurt watching you enjoy others.~

~Just as long as they keep their hands to themselves,~ Jazz teased, his grin blooming when the soft sound of Prowl's laughter reached his finely tuned and sensitive audios.

~Yes, as long as they have no illusions that you are available,~ Prowl smiled down.

~Only yours.~ Jazz replied, feeling the smile that was present much more often since their bonding, rejoicing in the laughter and joy he saw in his bonded as the orns passed. He allowed himself to be swept up in the crowd, slowly working his way towards Prowl. He felt the warmth those words, and the meaning of them, always generated in Prowl. It was addicting in its own way, to cause such pleasure with such simple things.

~As I am only yours,~ Prowl purred in reply.

Just as the response was enough to send a shiver through him, the purring tone a different kind of music to Jazz, spurring him faster. Breaking free of the crowd he made his way quickly and quietly to the balcony, his own frame snug against Prowl's in a sparkbeat. This close he could feel that his spark and Prowl's pulsed in synch, how quickly Prowl's chassis and systems heated by the simple contact before their lip plates met.

~Love you, want you, my perfect Jazz,~ Prowl moaned across their bond as he pushed Jazz backwards, away from the edge and the crowd's gaze. There was no doubt between them what was about to happen, but that didn't mean they were going to put on a show.

~Love you.~ The simple response that encompassed so much as Jazz moved backwards, unable to see where he was going and not bothered by the fact in the slightest. Prowl was guiding him, and he trusted Prowl. His back found the wall and Prowl stopped, his fingers digging into Jazz's side seams as his mouth devoured his lover's.

The Praxian shivered and pressed his doorwings forward, silently begging for attention as he kissed his way down Jazz's jaw to his throat.

Hands swept up, stroking along the doorwings in long, sensuous movements. They pulled gently, urging the moaning mech to angle them just so and allow for the greatest range of access. It was a silent request that was quickly obeyed even as Prowl's fingers worked into Jazz's hips, impatient in his own way to feel the slick valve between them.

~Here love?~ Amusement, excitement- it was a balcony and far from private, even if they were alone at the moment- and a bit of wonder that had yet to fade at being such an object of desire.

"Here," Prowl growled against Jazz's throat as he nipped at it lightly, intoxicated as always by the prospect of having his bonded and sharing the pleasure.

Jazz's field flared against his bonded, asking for that additional element of sharing as the cover slid away. Prowl's field wrapped around him with a heavy moan, entwining and opening up as fully as the bond was and just as enjoyable as Prowl slid his panel open and extended his pressurizing spike directly into his lover's valve.

"So good," Prowl moaned, relishing this sensation he'd never contemplated before. To actually feel his spike pressurize within a valve.

Jazz shuddered, getting an edge of what Prowl was feeling through their sharing and changing his touch on the doorwings, adding more pressure to certain places as he nuzzled Prowl's helm.

"Only for you, my love." Exploring new pleasure, this time with an added edge, the chance of being caught. It felt good, feeling Prowl's spike pressurize inside him, an undeniable pleasure he caused. He tightened the calipers inside his valve, squeezing down on the nearly pressurized spike and moaning as Prowl did.

Another low, pleasure-filled groan escaped Prowl as he began to thrust, deep and hard.

Jazz gasped and whimpered, speaking softly to his mate as he was lost in feeling, a litany in spoken words and spark flowing from him. "Please more. More. So good. Love you."

"Love you," Prowl moaned, his pace picking up as he pressed his doorwings into Jazz's hands. He reached down to slide a hand along Jazz's right leg and pulled it upwards by the knee, changing the angle of penetration and allowing Prowl that much deeper. ~My lover, my bonded, my everything.~

~Prowl!~ The cry he would not give voice to burst across the bond, hands playing across the Praxian's doorwings in desperation, so close to the edge and wanting Prowl there with him. His bonded. His everything.

It was more than enough to drive Prowl over the edge and he had to mute his vocalizer to prevent himself from roaring as his body locked up, his spike buried to the base inside Jazz and pumping hot, slick transfluid deep inside Jazz's valve.

The overload charge echoed between the two of them, through blended EM fields and joined bodies, but it was the pleasure racing across the bond that pushed Jazz to the breaking point, frame locking up and processor blanking out as he lost the ability to consciously process anything but the intense pleasure.

Slowly, but not nearly slowly enough, they came back to themselves with kisses and caresses.

"Never get enough of you," Prowl murmured as he guided them down and around until he was sitting with his back to the wall and Jazz was in his lap, still connected with spike buried and twitching in slick and twitching valve.

Lips claimed his as Jazz snuggled against him. ~Would never want you to get enough. Want you always.~

A soft, contented vent escaped Prowl and he hugged Jazz close. "Still, you should enjoy the celebration. Just because I'm not partial to such socializing is no reason for you to avoid it."

"Should probably clean up a little first." Jazz replied, not moving. ~Won't leave you if you want me to stay. You don't have to be alone.~

Prowl hummed and kissed him. ~Yes, you should clean up. As much as I adore you, want you close, I do enjoy my time alone, watching from the sidelines.~

"Help me?" Jazz asked, request and offer in making both of them presentable.

"Of course," Prowl kissed him again and almost reluctantly withdrew his spike into its housing. "As appealing as seeing my claim dribbling down your legs can be at times."

An agreeable purr at the implications escaped Jazz as he stood and offered a hand to his bonded. ~And only yours now.~

~As is your claim,~ Prowl shivered as he stood and claimed another kiss, memories of feeling Jazz's transfluid sliding down his inner legs electrifying in its own right. ~Mmm, cloth, or glossa?~

A cloth was surely faster, but seeing as he had no desire to run off and nowhere he needed to be the decision was easy. Provided he could stop kissing the mech long enough. ~Glossa.~

Prowl shivered and turned them around. While he didn't press Jazz against the wall, it was close enough to help support the mech if ... as if it was a question ... he overloaded again. Then Prowl knelt and slid his glossa up the inside of Jazz's left leg, catching his transfluid mixed with Jazz's lubrication.

~Love how you taste mixed with me,~ Prowl rumbled.

A soft moan escaped Jazz as the glossa slid over plating, though the reply was light and teasing. ~Glad you approve.~

Prowl hummed, adding vibration to his cleanup effort as he shifted to Jazz's right leg, working his way up until the fine oil that coated his glossa was the only trace left on Jazz's legs and he went to work with abandon between his lover's legs. Working from the edge of where the panel covered inward, Prowl indulged himself with Jazz's taste and moans. It was hard to keep his spike sheathed with how erotic this was. It wasn't as good as kissing or swallowing a spike but he couldn't find any kind of objection within himself as he thrust his glossa into the hot, slick space his spike had been moments before.

Muted moans never ceased as Jazz scrambled for some sort of support, suddenly very thankful for Prowl's foresight as he lost the ability to delegate much thought to standing. The sensations rippling through him were glorious, all the more so for the rarity. Hand ghosted over doorwing, offering and felt the appendage press into the touch wantonly. And across the bond offering without words to take him again if Prowl desired and cleaning up be damned.

The rest of the world could watch and suffer if they were caught, because Prowl was his and his alone. Those doorwings, that spike, valve, hands, that oh so talented mouth, and most importantly that brilliant spark, belonged to Jazz and he wasn't going to share.

~Don't want to share,~ Prowl purred across the bond, it open fully to share the intense pleasure Prowl garnered from using his mouth to elicit those sound and desires from the mech that was the center of his existence. ~Want to be just yours. You're so much more than I dared hope possible in my bonded.~

A barely muffled cry from Jazz at that admission, for Prowl was everything that Jazz had dreamed of and more. His other hand finally found the offered doorwing.


His passionate mech. That beautifully blazing spark joined to his own as they shared everything- joy, pleasure, fear, doubt, hope, life.

And that small need Jazz still had occasionally for reassurance that it was all real. ~Mine?~ The question a whisper touch as he balanced on the verge of overload.

~Yours. For all time,~ Prowl assured with the words and all the emotions that generated them. ~Always yours.~

It was enough to push Jazz the rest of the way, charge flowing through as he collapsed into the arms of his bonded, peacefully content in the conclusion. He dimly felt a soft cloth wiping away the last of the exterior lubrication and Prowl's fingers gently coaxing the cover shut.

"Love you," Prowl murmured into a kiss as he held the sated mech close.

Jazz purred, relaxed enough to fall into recharge then and there. ~Love you.~

Pulling himself together somewhat he nuzzled at Prowl. ~Need to get you cleaned up.~

The Praxian nuzzled him back. ~And how do you plan on doing that?~ he rumbled, teasing and aroused. He had no need to overload again, he wasn't that worked up, but he wasn't about to refuse it either.

In reply Jazz pulled out another cloth and started working, reverently buffing what he could reach of Prowl from his current position in the mechs arms with gentle, even pressure. ~Unless you have a different idea.~

~This works nicely,~ Prowl groaned in pleasure that wasn't arousal. Across the bond flowed how good it felt to have Jazz take care of him like this, how much he was looking forward to buffing out the chromate transfers he'd painted Jazz with in their passion.

Jazz stole a kiss before pulling back from Prowl, moving on to a place he could not reach before. Slowly he worked his way around the form of bonded, paying special attention to areas that were prominent before ending up behind Prowl.

He traded the cloth he was holding for another, softer, one before starting on the doorwings, having saved them for last intentionally.

The shuddering moan that came with the first movement was music to Jazz, the arousal and pleasure that no one else was allowed to enjoy anymore. That first sound also told him that he could overload his bonded by those enticing doorwings if he wanted to.

He continued to work, concentrating on the front of the panels first with firm pressure as he worked out some minor marks his fingers had left. Then he traced the edge of the wings, more concerned with the reaction it earned him than actually cleaning anything from there. ~Good?~

~Yes,~ Prowl answered with a audible groan of pleasure and shifted to brace himself against the wall by his hands. His doorwings flared backwards, nearly perpendicular to his back, to give Jazz the most and easiest access to everything.

On the backs of the wings, Jazz quickly found that perfect pressure between tickling and painful. The sounds each motion of the cloth pulled from Prowl went through him as well and he leaned forward, breathing lightly on the wing. ~More?~

"Yes!" Prowl gasped, needy and quickly growing desperate as the charge built past the point of easy dispersal.

Lips traced along the wing, chasing the path of the cloth before returning to the point where wings joined frame, glossa dipping into the seams and joints as Jazz hummed. The feedback along the bond was enough to make him slick again, despite two overloads in quick succession.

"Harder," Prowl growled, his fingers digging against the wall as he trembled. "Just a little more," he panted, unabashed at his desires.

Jazz complied, dropping the cloth so he could work at the doorwings with both hands, glossa teasing as feedback traveled along the bond. He couldn't express even in song how intensely joyful this made him. To have this more important mech putty under his hands ... even if Prowl was somewhat demanding putty. Jazz knew that no one else had taking this kind of care with Prowl. Yes, former lovers had played with his wings, pleasured him this way, but none of them had done so asking nothing in return. They hadn't done it for the joy of seeing ecstasy etched on those strong features.

The jolts of the building charge jumped to Jazz's hands, giving him as much an indicator of his lover's state as the moans Prowl offered him. It tickled at his glossa. His mech to please, to worship as Prowl deserved to be worshiped. It was the work of a moment to change the setting on his voice, to pull out the one trick that would finish what he started. Hands sweeping out along the wings he leaned against his bonded, opening the bond between them so that Prowl could see just how much he meant to Jazz, and how much Jazz meant the two little words he was about to say.

"Love you."

Prowl muted his vocalizer against the scream but did nothing to mute it from Jazz as his systems crashed into overload, driven by his spark's response to that voice.

Incoherent. Ecstasy. Safe. Loved. Cared for. Trusted.


Prowl reveled in that word, in all the multitude of levels of meaning it possessed and that every single one applied here.

As he came down, gasping for cooling air, Prowl found his orientation. He was still braced against the wall, Jazz giving him a little extra support.

~Love you, my Jazz. My bonded,~ Prowl murmured, still reveling in all that meant.

~Yours.~ Jazz agreed blissfully happy with how happy Prowl was as he pulled the mech against him. They stayed like that until it seemed that Prowl was stable again and Jazz let go, planting a parting kiss on each doorwing as he rose from the floor.

Neither lover was aware they were being watched from not far away, nor would they have cared. They should have.

~You're right,~ Sunstreaker held his growl in check. ~They're talking without speaking.~

~They have to be.~ Sideswipe replied, agitated. ~That's too coordinated, too perfect. And there's no delay and no comm reading.~

The pair continued to watch as their brother helped the Praxian up, offering no resistance as he was then swept into kiss. Then silence as the black and white pair simply held on to each other before Prowl stepped back. A parting caress as Jazz turned around for him, than Jazz was off without a word.

~You talk to Jazz, I'll handle him,~ Sunstreaker kept another rumble in check.

Sideswipe nodded, heading off quickly in a direction that would allow him to intercept his brother once Jazz was out of sight of the Praxian. ~Just don't hurt him too much. Yet.~

Damage done was hard to undo. And if this mech was taking advantage of their brother Sideswipe wanted a piece of him too. Several pieces.

Out of sight, out of normal audio range and a door closed between them.

"Hey little bro," Sideswipe greeted him, opening with a 'nothing is wrong' approach.

Jazz stopped mid step, momentarily startled at seeing his brother there, then offered a genuine smile. "Sides!" He looked around. "Sunstreaker come too? When did ya get here?"

"This morning," the red royal smiled, pleased at Jazz was genuine happy to see him. At least Prowl hadn't poisoned him against family yet. "Haven't seen you in far too long. You're inseparable from him."

Jazz actually looked slightly guilty at that. It was true. He hadn't been home since he had left as Sirenis over a metacycle ago, and he hadn't seen any of his family in person since his creators just after the surgery. They deserved better than that, even if time seemed to loose meaning when he was with Prowl.

"Yeah. Sorry about that ... Serenity taking it all right?"

"She misses you, a lot," Sideswipe told him. "We all do. How is he keeping you here?"

"He's got things he needs to see to. Sirenis is supposed to perform anyway. Didn't see any reason to travel when we're supposed to be courting." Jazz answered quickly. Too quickly. "Was on my way to get some energon. Want some?"

Sideswipe frowned. ~That Praxian where we left him?~

~Yeah. Defensive as the Pit too,~ Sunstreaker growled.

"I'd rather talk to you," Sideswipe countered Jazz's attempt at moving on with a hand on his arm. "Look, I know. What did he do to make you agree?"

"Agree to what? Staying? Why would he need to do something to get me to stay?" Jazz's discomfort becoming visible with the agitation pulling at his spark. He would not lie to his brother. He would never lie to Sideswipe. "You're the one who said I needed to take some time and enjoy myself. Just takin' your advice."

But he couldn't tell.

Something clicked into place. "Where's Sunny?" he demanded.

"Watching that Praxian," Sideswipe did his best to keep his full displeasure from showing. "You need me to spell it out? Fine. We. Know. You. Bonded. To. Prowl." He kept his voice low, but it didn't hide any of his emotions as he grabbed Jazz by both arms and forced him to meet his optics. "What did he do to you?"

Jazz looked at him, defiance and fear so clear on the younger mech's face. "He asked."

"After a metacycle?" Sideswipe couldn't hide that he was horrified. "A metacycle? After all I warned you about? He's got a cruel streak a quadrant wide. He's a controller, and abuser in the making if he isn't already. Maybe, maybe he's got a good spark, but that doesn't make this right. Primus, Jazz. How could you jump into this?"

Jazz was shaking now, struggling against the hold on his arms. There was no repentance, no regret for what he had done, but Sideswipe was scaring him, and he reached out for Prowl, knowing Sunstreaker's temperament and desperately afraid for his bonded.

He wanted to be with Prowl. Needed to be with Prowl. Vents working furiously, on the verge of panic, he finally faced Sideswipe again. "Because."

~Calm,~ Prowl reached out to him, wrapping Jazz in a blanket of reassurance, acceptance and a processor that had been working on contingencies for discovery since that first night. ~I am undamaged. He is angry but not violent as long as I stay where I am.~ There was an uncomfortable pause. ~They believe I forced you, somehow coerced you into bonding?~

"Because?" Sideswipe was shaking too as he clicked a dataport open. "What, exactly, happened?"

"It was just another merge. He wanted ... I wanted. When we came to I could hear him in my spark." Jazz answered, calming with Prowl's assurance that he was still unharmed. Reaching out he sought refuge in that calm that was his bondmate. ~Your siblings would probably think the same thing.~

~There is a 98.9338% probability that at least Springer will,~ Prowl agreed.

"It shouldn't be that easy," Sideswipe said uneasily, relenting in his grip some. "Jazz, tell me honestly. Has he hurt you? Demanded anything you were uneasy with?"

"Nothing. No harm. No threats." Visor met optics squarely, truthfully. His arm turned in the loosed grip, own data port open. "I swear. Look."

Despite the desire to trust his brother, to trust what he saw in Jazz's visor, this was too much, too important, and he plugged in. As gently as he could, he riffled through a metacycle worth of memories and froze when it registered that they hadn't bonded after a metacycle.

~Sides?~ Sunstreaker reached out when he felt his brother's processors stall.

~If ... if this wasn't exactly what they're saying, I'd tear that Praxian to pieces after shaming him before all of Cybertron,~ the bright red royal responded shakily. ~They bonded four decaorns after they met as Jazz and Prowl. And it was as honestly mutual as any couple I know of. Prowl's been ... very good to him.~

Sunstreaker was still inclined to tear the Praxian he was watching to pieces in spite of Sideswipes discovery of mutual agreement, deeply troubled and more than a little angry.

~Decaorns?~ He growled, glaring. Good to Jazz or not, that was ... unacceptable.

~Four decaorns,~ Sideswipe confirmed. ~As much as I want to blame him...~ he sent the bonding memory to his twin instead. ~Sunny, if anything, this is Jazz and Impact's fault. Prowl's never bared his spark to anyone but Jazz. We taught Jazz better,~ his distress was clear in the bond. ~We taught him better.~

~Jazz said they'd merged before.~ Sunstreaker protested, but the argument was weak, even to him. ~Primus Sides, what do we do with them?~

~We keep a very close optic on Jazz, check him regularly that this is still consensual and he's happy ... and we teach them how to hide,~ he sighed. ~Bro, as much as I hate this, he makes Jazz deliriously happy. We can't take that away just because they didn't follow custom or common sense.~

~Little late to try.~ Sunstreaker grunted, still thoroughly disgruntled with the whole mess. ~Done asking him questions? I think his Praxian is going to start twitching if you don't bring him back. And as much as I would enjoy that...~

As much as he would enjoy the Praxians discomfort, he was not going to do that to his little brother. Sunstreaker was not nearly as open or affectionate as his twin, but Jazz was his family.

~My Praxian will do more than twitch soon,~ Jazz told his brother grimly across the hardline, startling his older sibling. ~Yes, I heard most of that. You're the one who taught me how to listen via a hardline.~

~Seems you aren't the only one who forgot some of their lessons,~ Sideswipe sighed. He was deeply unhappy and troubled, but what he said was true. Jazz was deliriously happy and he'd do anything to keep him that way. He disconnected and vented a deep sigh. "All right, let's go sit somewhere private and talk. All four of us."

It took only a moment for the two groups to meet up on the way to Prowl's suites, the most secure of the locations readily available to them. They were soon settled with Jazz tucked against Prowl's side, despite the scowls it earned them from the twins. Highgrade and regular energon close at hand did nothing to ease the tension, though Prowl's nibbling on confections did seem to help settle him.

"So you know, and you know no one was coerced," Prowl finally broke the silence. "Will you help us?"

The scowls grew darker for a moment, a pause as a conversation neither of the newly bonded mechs was privy too took place, and Sunstreaker finally growled. "Provided you stop being so Pit slagging stupid and stop and think every now and then...yes." And for once his comment was clearly directed at both mechs seated across from him.

"We will do our best," Prowl promised. "We did not intend to break tradition, though I have a rudimentary grasp of how it happened."

Jazz nodded in agreement, looking at Sideswipe in particular. "You do seem kinda upset with the whole thing, more than us just not havin' permission."

"The timing doesn't disturb either of you?" Sideswipe looked at his younger brother incredulously. "How little you actually knew each other before it happened?"

True to his word, Jazz actually sat there and considered it, leaning more into the Praxian without thinking as he did so. He knew he still had much to learn about his bonded, but all of it seemed so inconsequential compared to what he already knew.

His spark knew that he was meant to be with Prowl. Being with the Praxian brought him peace and contentment and a sense of completeness that he could not put into words. Prowl was his and he was Prowl's. What more was there to know?

Sideswipe vented deeply. "Have you at least worked out how to deal with Prowl's sadism?"

"What?" Prowl couldn't help but stiffen sharply, his doorwings flared wide in shock. "I'm not..."

"Don't you dare!" Sunstreaker nearly stood. "What you do to your pleasurebots? That's sadistic. You're getting off on their pain."

"No, I don't," Prowl countered, firm but subdued. "It's not their pain. It's the sensation for me."

Jazz pressed a hand to Prowl's chest, directly over his bonded's spark, pleading. Deep down he agreed with his brothers, but he accepted Prowl. All of Prowl. And... "He doesn't ask that of me."

That seemed to settle the twins, at least some.

"See that you never do," Sunstreaker growled. "I will tear you to shreds if you ever hurt Jazz."

"If I ever do, you are welcome to do so," Prowl met the angry yellow royal's optics squarely. "I never wish to hurt Jazz. I will never hurt him. On my spark."

Jazz's tension at the threats had yet to fade, evident in every line of his body, watching his brothers warily. Finally he appealed to the less reactive of the pair. "Sides?"

The more sociable of his twin brothers vented deeply and focused on Jazz. "I don't like it, I'm not sure I'll ever trust this, but we'll help you as much as we can if you promise to spend at least half your time in Protihex and you talk to me at least every decaorn until you're officially bonded."

"And don't you dare leave the problems out of that chat, either," Sunstreaker added. "We still have issues. You are going to."

~Can you do that, at least for a while?~ Jazz asked, slipping into bondspeak, comfortable and safe. ~Spend time in Protihex after the festival is over?~

There hadn't been more than a building between the two them for any length of time since they had bonded, and even that was still uncomfortable. So going back to Protihex without Prowl wasn't an option, at least not yet.

"Yes, I can spend the time requested in Protihex," Prowl dipped his doorwings in submission, all too aware that the brothers across from him would be suspicious of anything they could not hear. "I never intended to take you away from your family this much."

"My fault too." He had never asked too go back, too wrapped up in simply being bonded to notice the amount of time that had passed. "And I'll call, promise Sides. You won't tell then?"

The twins looked at each other. Sunstreaker's finely tuned engine grumbled and Sideswipe x-vented deeply.

"We won't tell," Sideswipe promised and leaned forward, his arms crossed and elbows on his knees. "Now, since you barely know how you ended up bonded, which is not normal, we all need to count our blessings that neither of you are with spark yet. Do you have a physician you trust? Impact maybe?"

"Can we trust her?" In all of Jazz's short memory it seemed as though the medic worked with Springer when it came to dealing with Prowl, and he was pretty sure that the large mech was the last one he wanted to know the truth at the moment.

As he waited for an answer he tried to find other options and failed. Callback would feel obligated, and rightfully so, to report the situation to Jazz's creators. First Aid would undoubtedly feel the same way. And looking for one among the general population was not an option. It would be quicker and less painful to tell Serenity and just let her tell everyone.

Prowl reluctantly shook his head, his doorwings quivering at the truth of it. "No, not if we can help it. She's the most likely to keep the secret of those I know."

~But?~ Jazz poked at the bond gently.

~But she'll demand a merge with each of us to be sure it's consensual and you aren't manipulating me,~ Prowl whispered.

~I can deal with that. But somewhere you can't. If I wasn't afraid he'd tear me apart instead of listen I'd merge with your brother just to prove to them I'm not.~ Of course Jazz was banking on Impact's professionalism to keep her from tearing into him like she was going to feel he deserved as well.

~You asked me ... it's an information merge, but I don't want to expose my spark to anyone but you,~ he struggled to explain the combination of reactions he had to the idea. He focused on Sideswipe. "Exactly why do we need a physician?"

Jazz hadn't considered that until a wave of possessiveness rippled through him at the mention of Prowl's spark. ~Sideswipe was content with a data upload. Maybe that'll be good enough for her too.~ He reached to soothe the edge of fear that he sensed as well before also looking at his brother, curious, as Prowl began to relax against him.

"I trust you both see the wisdom of avoiding kindling until you're officially bonded?" the red royal looked between them as the pair nodded. "Thank Primus for small miracles. Given how easily you bonded, a little extra insurance so one of you doesn't end up with a new spark would be a good idea."

"What kind of 'insurance'? And just how hard is bonding supposed to be?" Jazz asked. Sideswipe kept saying that, but it had been easy to the point of neither of them realizing what they were doing until it done.

"There are inhibitors, fairly common in the lower castes to control the population," Sideswipe began. "Sunny and I have them because we have to merge periodically to keep our sparks stable. Even though it's not an interface merge, it's more like an information one, though not really, there's a possibility of enough energy being there to kindle so our creators had them installed when we were sparklings. When we upgraded to mechs we also got the protocols for turning them off when we wanted to. Like your vocalizer, they default to on when we boot up. I can tell you the overloads don't feel any different, but it prevents a new spark from forming by shunting enough energy elsewhere. Given it seems like an errant thought ended up with a bond, the same could end with you kindling."

"From your memories ... well, it should require the kind of intent that comes with being completely in your right processor. Not overcharged on pleasure." Sunstreaker added. "If bonding was so easy a lot of mechlings would end up bonded to their first."

Silence as that was absorbed and processed, Jazz sorting carefully through all of the information, spark leaning on Prowl's as he did so. He could recall no actual intent of bonding with Prowl when they had merged that time, just an overwhelming desire for the mech to be his forever.

If their bonding was so unusual... Tense he started feeling along the connection between them, looking for weakness, oddness, anything that seemed out of place. He prayed to Primus that he would find nothing, even though he wasn't sure what he was looking for.

Prowl's spark reached out for his, flowing along a smooth, strong, solid bond and wrapped his in a warm embrace. ~Unusual or not, we are together and together we will face the future.~

For a long moment Jazz savored that warmth and comfort, asking forgiveness for doubting as he simply held on to Prowl. ~They make a good point. And if they figured it out it was probably just a matter of time before she would, as closely as she is determined to watch us.~

Forgiveness was immediately given, without hesitation and with all the love and devotion Prowl had to offer.

~True,~ Prowl murmured. "Would we both need the device?"

"Probably not," Sideswipe considered it, curious where Prowl was going with this.

"It's possible I can have one installed without telling anyone I'm already bonded," he explained. "I'm well known here for planning long into the future and for being over-prepared almost to the point of paranoia. It will no doubt make Impact watch us more closely but I can ask First Aid to install one in me on the grounds of not wanting to risk an illegitimate heir. I might be questioned, but it will not be the first time I 'over reacted' to some piece of data I find. They already know I've studied bonds and bonding extensively. It is actually not an unreasonable reaction for me once I reached the section on kindling."

"Just so long as he leaves it turned on it should work." Sunstreaker mused, having spent most of the conversation observing the pair to discuss with his twin later. "Getting it through your processors that neither of you want to deal with getting caught, much less getting caught cause you're sparked, will go a long way too."

"I will work on preparing to go to First Aid," Prowl stated. "I should have a convincing cover within a decacycle. However, the probability of Impact catching us before the hundred and fifty vorn courting my creators have politely demanded is now at 43.8487%."

Sunstreaker snorted softly. "I'd wager it's a bit higher than that. She's a femme. Not a bad idea to have an ally here."

"An ally would be good," Prowl admitted, his doorwings twitching uneasily. "I am far less certain how she will take it, however. Even if we can only put off telling her a few vorns it would improve her reaction significantly. Six vorns. I need my family ignorant for at least six vorns."

"And then only her?" Jazz asked, stroking Prowl's arm softly in an attempt to calm his mate.

"Preferably," Prowl nodded his doorwings and leaned into the contact as he forced himself to settle fully. "I would prefer not to tell even her if we do not need to, though I have few scenarios where she does not learn. Controlling the time and circumstances of her discovery is to our advantage."

"They'll take it that bad?" Sideswipe asked.

"There is a 87.5003% probability they will attempt to have the bond nullified if they find out before they are convinced that Jazz is not like Crisp Wind," Prowl said softly. "He hid his nature from them very well."

There was an immediate reaction from those present, and none of them were positive. Jazz whimpered softly, barely willing to even consider a life without Prowl.

Sideswipe and Sunstreaker's reactions were much more violent, having a good idea of the lengths that Prowl's family would go to 'free' their brother from Jazz. Lengths they themselves had been considering not so long ago.

~Shu,~ Prowl murmured along the bond, pulling Jazz close, nearly in his lap. ~I will not let them hurt you. The bond will not be broken.~

~Don't want a life without you.~ In the moment, Jazz was sure he'd rather be deactivated than face a life without Prowl. To go on living and know that the other half of his spark was out there somewhere forbidden to him...

~Never. Never forbidden,~ Prowl actually growled, defiant and determined, plans and options flowing freely as he calculated dozens of ways to escape their kin if things went badly. Prowl was ready to leave Cybertron, leave his title and easy, comfortable functioning behind to keep Jazz.

"Whatever you're planning, just stop." Sunstreaker growled, Jazz's obvious distress starting to eat at his self-control while the clearly aggressive response from Prowl rubbed him the wrong way.

"Contingencies," Prowl countered, holding his bonded close. "I will not give up Jazz or our bond."

"Which would be what we are all trying to avoid at the moment." Sideswipe replied, nudging his twin gently against the bond. "So stop making both of you crazy."

"He was just trying to reassure me," Jazz interrupted, protective of Prowl and he's efforts. "We all know how far both our Houses have gone to deal with an unwanted bond."

"Not going to deny it, little bro." Sideswipe replied, forcing himself to at least appear relaxed as he directed the conversation into a mixture of small talk and useful tidbits on how to hide a bond, focused on protecting his little brother and his happiness.

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 15: Sanctified

The boldly colored femme strode down the hall of the palace, lost in thought. It was a good orn. Her brother was home again from Protihex, the mech he was courting with him to visit once more. Jazz had almost seemed to become a permanent fixture, present wherever Prowl was, and the realization resulted in a slight frown.

Even courting pairs tended to take some time away from each other, but as far she could recall the pair had not been in different cities since the revelation that Sirenis was really Lord Jazz of Protihex just over seven vorns ago. And Prowl had been almost...fidgety around her when she had greeted him that morning, a term vary rarely used to describe her normally composed brother.

The frown grew deeper, and with it Impact's growing feelings of worry.

She found her steps wondering towards her youngest brother's suite. Not that she planned to confront him, but maybe she could catch one of them for a friendly chat.

"Impact, would you join me for a warmed energon?" Prowl's deep, even voice nearly startled her.

It wasn't really a request either. She knew that tone and posture too well. He had something to say and he was as always quite willing to drag someone by the doorwing to do so.

Since she preferred to be the one doing the dragging when the situation warranted it and already curious, she nodded. "Of course, little brother."

Meant with the utmost affection, Impact knew the endearment tended to annoy Prowl, part of the reason she still used it. And as much as he might want to deny it on some occasions, he was her little brother and she was never going to let him forget it. "Where?"

"My sitting room," he motioned her towards his suite and went silent, nearly undetectable, until she was seated, high grade in hand, across from a very nervous looking Jazz who was halfway through a cube already.

Prowl in stealth mode and a nervous Jazz already well on his way to being slightly overcharged? Impact accepted the drink, noting it all with a practiced optic and analyzing it calmly. Her processor immediately came up with half a dozen reasons as to why she was sitting here, but she held her peace.

She knew her brother, and Prowl would speak when he was ready and not before. There was no point in straining herself before then. Besides, if she was here, he was almost ready.

She watched as Prowl sat next to Jazz and drew him close. It wasn't an unusual move. The pair were amazingly tactile, even in public. It wasn't something Prowl had been like with any of the others. It made her smile softly to see them lean into each other, taking strength from the other.

"I need your word, as a medic, not to tell anyone," Prowl began.

The smile froze with the rest of her. For Prowl to ask for that sent fear to her spark like a shot. Her word, as a medic, was sacred. Held in confidence beyond a right to know and something he had never asked of her before, even under the worst of circumstance. "Little brother...what have you done?"

Jazz stiffened but Prowl relaxed, understanding that it had been granted with the asking of the question. Jazz relaxed a nanoklik later.

"Jazz and I are bonded," Prowl said simply, evenly. "We did not plan it, but neither can we regret it."

Impact vented deeply, setting the high grade down on the nearest available surface. She wanted, needed, a clear processor. While this certainly explained a lot, it also generated many questions. Questions she wanted and was going to get answers to.

"Bonded?" She repeated, seeking confirmation in case by some insubstantial twist of fate she had misheard him.

"Bonded," Prowl nodded, his helm and his wings moving together. "We have avoided telling until I was reasonably sure Jazz had proven himself to you. Unplanned, unexpected, but very much still desired."

"The bits I'm having trouble believing here, little brother, are the bits 'unplanned' and 'unexpected'." Impact ground out, doing an admirable job of holding her temper at the moment. "What in Pit were you thinking?"

"We weren't," Prowl said patiently. "We were merged. I remember thinking I always wanted him, and that Jazz agreed. The overload knocked us both off line for a bit. When we were both fully booted again we could hear each other without speaking."

"Without speaking...Prowl." She moaned, the idea making her processor ache since it should have been impossible from a medical standpoint. But then again, this was Prowl, her logical brother who seemed able to defy all logic without trying.

"And you?" She looked at Jazz, wary and suspicious. "What part did you play in all of this?"

"I said yes." Jazz answered, probably not as bothered as he should have been by the look in her optics. He had already survived the fire once when his brothers found out, already had Prowl's promise that they would not be parted. Prowl had been by him then, and he stood by his mate now.

"Unplanned, unintentional but very much desired," Prowl repeated.

The femme looked long and hard at her brother. "You have desired things you have regretted in the past."

"Yes," he acknowledged mistakes and ignorance alike without shame. "There is no breaking this bond, Impact. You have expressed approval of Jazz before. We are telling you now for your support. I do not expect out creators to agree to our ceremony as quickly as we would like. However, your voice in support of it has a 87.0043% probability of reducing the time they are demanding we court significantly."

"While you're crunching numbers you might as well calculate the odds they'll mount your head and your wings on the wall and let Springer use Jazz for target practice, with or without my support."

Almost indifferent defiance greeted the first half from Prowl, exactly as she was used to, but the moment Jazz was threatened he was on his feet and grabbing for her, his optics overly bright white with the kind of defensive rage that didn't exist in the palace.

Startled, Impact moved enough that his first attempt fell short, only to find herself pinned by the larger frame of her brother, and for the first time ever the medic was afraid of him. Voice shaking she looked into those enraged optics. "Prowl?"

"Never threaten him," Prowl growled at her, his voice clipped and rich with defensive rage. "I will break any mech who tries. Understood?"

For a moment Jazz was frozen, the pure rage he could feel from his mate stunning him. Then action.

~Love.~ A gentle nudge at first, followed by a harder shove. ~She didn't mean it any more than the comment about them turning you into a wall hangin'. Let her up.~

It was enough to make Prowl let out a trembling x-vent and let his sister up as he flushed the emotional charge from his systems by force of specialized protocols designed to protect his delicately balanced advanced logic circuits.

Even after she was released Impact waited until Jazz had welcomed Prowl back with open arms before daring to move, retaking her own seat with lowered wings and body language that was clearly non-threatening to the point of submission. When she spoke again the tone was even, quiet. "So what do you intend to do?"

Prowl was still for a bit longer, welcoming Jazz's efforts to calm him and his own shock at his overreaction before looking at her again. "To keep the fact we are bonded as quiet as possible until the ceremony and to hurry our creators into accepting we are ready to bond without telling them it's a moot debate."

"You don't ask for much, do you little brother?" Impact asked softly. She settled back in her seat, considering.

"We've hidden it well so far," Prowl reminded her. "We're just asking for your voice to support us that he's good for me, good to me."

"How long?" She asked, trying to mark a point where their interactions changed and failed utterly.

"Over seven vorns," Prowl murmured, ducking his head and tucking his wings out of the way, out of her reach.

Relief and shame chased each other across her feature quickly. "Does anyone else know?"

"Jazz's brothers Sideswipe and Sunstreaker," Prowl answered. "They caught us, but I guess I measured up because once the dust settled, they decided to help us."

A soft chuckle escaped Jazz as he leaned into Prowl. "That was a fun time. Took a bit to convince them you weren't hurting me."

"Hurting you?" Impact repeated, surprised and defensive for Prowl's sake, "And what kind of 'help'?"

"Jazz is their brother," Prowl pointed out with a fond smile for what had gotten them caught by the twins. "And I have a less than savory reputation with them." He hummed, forcefully squishing those desires as mentioning them made them rouse deep in his interfacing protocols. "Mostly it came in the form of pointers on how to avoid getting caught. They're also putting in a good word about me and us now and then, just as we're asking you to."

Understanding dawned on several levels. "Your little visit to First Aid was their idea too, wasn't it?"

"Yeah," Jazz nodded, snuggled against Prowl's side and tucked into an embrace.

"Given the unplanned and generally subconscious nature of our bonding, it seemed unwise to trust that a sparkling might not happen the same way," Prowl expanded the simple answer. "We decided that I was the less likely to raise suspicions with questions or planning ahead."

"Wise. Though if you wanted to move up the date of the ceremony that would have done it." She mused, relaxing in her seat enough to curl into a more comfortable position. "How hard and fast do you want to push moving this up?"

"I would be very pleased at another forty one vorns, the goal is ninety seven vorns," Prowl answered. "Once the shock wore off we agreed that we wanted this to appear as natural and unpressured as possible, within reason. Even before the bond we both though the hundred and fifty some vorns our creators wanted was excessive."

"They worry for, and you two, full frame or not, are young." Impact optics flashed teasingly. "Prowl is still the sparkling of the family, no matter how old he acts."

Jazz allowed himself a laugh at his bonded's expense, pushing just how much he loved and adored his mate over the bond.

"Forty one might be difficult, though I know everyone has warmed up to Jazz a great deal in the past seven vorns. Ninety seven vorns seems plausible, but I'm sure you already know that," Impact concluded.

"Of course," Prowl gave her a sly smile, one of his rare displays of the wicked sense of humor that resided in his spark. "We have your support?"

She sighed, taking her time to weigh everything carefully. The sight before her was so perfect though. Plus Prowl had changed since he had been with Jazz, changes for the better. He was happy, happy in a way that she couldn't remember him ever being.

The dents in her plating also confirmed just how much he cared for the mech in his arms. Finally she nodded. "Two conditions. First, I want some proof. Second, I want to talk to Jazz's brothers."

"What proof do you want?" Prowl asked evenly, even though he was expecting to hear what he didn't want to. He didn't want to allow another to touch Jazz's spark, but for her support he would manage, somehow.

She held up a hand. "Hear me out- proof that he plans to continue being good to you. That this isn't an act." She had been fooled once. She was not going to let that happen again to someone she loved when she was in a position to prevent it.

"By any means you want," Jazz said firmly even as he sent reassurances to Prowl. A data merge was nothing like interfacing. Prowl might not know the difference, not first person, but Jazz did and he knew that as a medic Impact did as well.

Prowl nodded, his grip tightening on Jazz before he relented reluctantly.

"Merge. Data only." She assured her brother gently. "And at your convenience." She would not force him to do it now. They were supposed to spend a considerable time in Praxus. So long as it before they left she would be content.

~Your timing,~ Prowl murmured. ~I doubt I will ever be ready to witness that.~

Jazz pressed closer to his mate. ~Sooner the better then. And it is not what you think, love. My spark is in no danger from her, nor is our bond.~

A soft x-vent waved over Jazz's helm horns. ~I know, but it's still your spark.~ He shivered, tendrils of possessive jealously winding upwards in his processor. ~What needs to happen or not, I do like it.~

~I can see if she will be content with a data transfer. Sideswipe was.~ Jazz offered quietly.

~Having been on the receiving end of that, I'll cope with a data merge,~ Prowl shivered at the unpleasant memories - not of the digging, but of the processor ache that lasted most of the following orn.

Jazz dismissed the pain, considering it minor compared to the distress the merge might cause Prowl and giving his bonded one last chance to refuse before accepted Impact's terms and asked to see if she was willing to do it now.

~Merge,~ Prowl said firmly. ~I can reclaim your spark later. I can't sooth the pain.~

Impact waited as Jazz pulled free from a reluctant Prowl, pausing only long enough to give the mech a gentle kiss. "Now." He said, facing her.

The femme nodded her head, all business as she stood to face him. "If you are sure."

"Yes," Prowl murmured softly, leaving it no secret who was the reluctant party.

It was quick work to arrange things so that the two of them could merge, Impact facing her new patient, and she hoped her new brother. The healer in her took over. "Jazz of Protihex, do you enter into with a full understanding of what you are doing and a willingness to see it through?"

"I understand fully and I will see anything through for Prowl," Jazz said firmly, far more than the simple 'yes' she's eventually wrangled out of Prowl all those vorns ago. Jazz unlocked his chest plates, keenly aware of Prowl's conflicting desires to be there, protect him and be far enough away so the pain distracted him from what was about to happen.

"Know that what is learned here will be kept in confidence, released only with permission, and that it is done for the best interest of those involved." Impact continued, ever professional as her own chest plates opened.

Their sparks touched, first with the little zaps of coronal tendrils, then the edge of the coronal mass itself.

Jazz was distantly aware of Prowl unfocused distress, that this was some kind of trigger that had nothing to do with being possessive ... or even afraid for Jazz.

~Bad memories,~ Impact supplied, hoping to sooth them both without going any further than her oaths allowed. With that she focused, checking the connection between them before going in search of what she wanted, what she needed, to know. The sooner she got her answers the sooner everyone would be happy.

She hoped. Hoped with all of her spark that the level of commitment she saw on the surface extended to the spark. That the commitment was to keep her brother happy, warmed, and loved until they returned to the Well. That she was not wrong again in wanting to trust the mech who was now open to her, offering her the answers she sought of his own free will.

Absolute adoration of Prowl, acceptance of everything Prowl, even the disturbing parts, were the predominant things she encountered. They infused Jazz's entire spark. His willingness to do anything to make Prowl happy, even things he didn't particularly want to.

Clean and clear was also the joy Jazz felt that Prowl not just felt the same, but did the same. The compromises they had made, both on their own and as a couple. How lucky Jazz felt at having Prowl, at how good it was.

Drifting in the background was awe at some of the plans Prowl had detailed for him if both their families disowned them for what had happened. Good plans, solid ones for escaping any efforts to separate them. Plans going so far as to reach the outer colonies and working for their credits if need be. Details at what their skills and specs would be good at in the civilian world, how they could expect to survive.

She'd never realized that Prowl understood how to survive in the working class so well.

Startled, but satisfied and content with what she found, Impact withdrew. She maintained a solid grip on Jazz's arms as their sparks parted and hid away.

Once she was sure he was steady Impact reached up, drawing Jazz down and placing a gentle kiss on the mech forehelm, hugged him in greeting, and released him back to his bonded.

Freed, approved, and accepted, Jazz returned to Prowl's side, stopping just short of touching the Praxian. He reached out to the mech across the bond, strong and bright between them. There was barely had time to register the relief across the bond before Prowl half stood to pull him down, into his lap in a tight embrace, gratitude and intense relief overwhelming everything else.

~I think that's a yes.~ Jazz commented, melting into his bonded embrace and seriously contemplating not getting up any time soon.

~It is,~ Prowl was shaking, stroking Jazz's plating and all but oblivious to the femme watching them.

Jazz's wrapped Prowl in a tight hug and sent love across the bond, the sense of I'm here and yours strongest. While he was aware of Impact slipping away, he didn't allow it to distract him from comforting his bonded.

He was, however, keenly aware when Prowl realized she was absent, because the attention shifted to a decidedly more amorous intent. He purred at the attention, letting his bonded do as the mech pleased, his only demand as he pressed lips to his bonded's, the kiss deep and passionate. It didn't take much to pick how just how completely Prowl intended to claim him, and Jazz purred even more deeply in anticipation.

~Berth, beloved, and I am yours.~ Jazz whispered, surrendering and welcoming. ~Forever.~

Chapter Text

All or Nothing 16: No Longer Hiding

Jazz did his best to keep his optics from cycling too many times as he took in the Crystal Gardens of Praxus. Sure, Prowl had taken him on many tours, showed him everything of the living, singing crystals hanging in jets of methane and charged neon and xenon. But to see it decorated for a royal wedding brought an entirely new dimension of beauty and grandeur to the famous place.

A shiver of excitement went through him. After today they wouldn't have to worry anymore about being found out. After today their bond would be acceptable to the rest of the world. After today, his claim to Prowl would be public knowledge, uncontested, instead of a secret shared among few.

The idea made him smile. Prowl was his.

"Excited, little bro?" Sideswipe grinned at him, supposedly on guard against Prowl trying to see him early, but really there to keep his brother company.

Jazz laughed, an easy, happy sound. "Of course. Just not for the reasons most would think."

"Of course," Sideswipe grinned at him. "I have to admit, this place is impressive all decked out. I wonder if they're expecting a sparkling announcement before they take it down."

Jazz settled for smirking at his brother, though in truth it wasn't something that he had really discussed with Prowl. He was certainly not opposed to the idea, but Prowl had his own plans, plans that a sparkling would potentially hinder.

"What? You are bonding into the most sparkling-crazed House on Cybertron," he teased. "Being the first to bond, I bet they're going to want an emergency heir or three out of you ASAP. They do seem to believe that everyone should have a job," he winked. "Maybe yours is sparkling-maker."

The smaller mech look mock horrified at the idea, not so much for his sake but for Prowl's, and suspected that there was some truth to his brother's words. "You might be right, but we'll see." It wasn't like anyone had really managed to control the two of them yet.

"I think you'd make adorable sparklings with him," the red royal purred his high performance engine, enjoying teasing his brother entirely too much. "And very mischievous ones too, with your wits and his processor. They'd run the empire in no time."

Before Jazz could hit find a reply the music changed, catching the attention of both mechs, and Jazz attempted to bury the bit of nervousness that flared in him. Seasoned performer he might be, but there was far more at stake here than just a slip of the glossa or a bit of errant music.

Pride and honor, and not just his own and his family's but Prowl's as well.

::You'll do fine, little bro. I'm proud of you,:: Sideswipe commed him as Lady Rilla and Lady Sweetsong appeared to take their creation before the crowd, before the Prime, and before his soon-to-be-legally-bonded.

"We all are," Lady Sweetsong smiled warmly and hugged Jazz, careful of his extra-fine polish and all the decorative touches that Sunstreaker had created for this special day. "You have chosen a fine mech to bond with."

"And you've both proven yourselves ready by indulging four nervous creators," Lady Rilla added as she came up on his other side to guide him forward.

The approval meant a lot to Jazz, though over that last little bit he had to hide a twitch.

As lovely as it was Jazz worked on ignoring the gardens around him, searching for that place inside that had always allowed him to perform without being overwhelmed by his surroundings. When that did not have quite the desired effect he touched his bonded instead, seeking the calm and focus that he had become so accustomed to finding there. While his creators and his brother walked with him now eventually they would be stepping aside, leaving only him and his 'intended' before the Prime and those gathered as witness, and he wished to be ready for that.

~You will be,~ Prowl wrapped his spark in a blanket of calm warmth, absolute faith and adoration. It was enough to sooth the last of Jazz's nerves as he took his place and tried not to be surprised at the spark-blue cloak that covered every bit of his intended. He knew it was their tradition, knew it would be what Prowl wore at their bonding ceremony, but it was still weird to look at the formless lump. Doorwings tucked tightly against his back, face down, cloak and hood concealing him completely, the mech could be anyone ... but Jazz knew by his spark it was Prowl.

The small, curious part of Jazz's processor that could never stop asking questions made a note to find out exactly what was behind that tradition later, allowing the warmth and comfort to flow over him and finding something to offer in return.

Joy flowed across the bond, barely muted at the small shifting of places of the others involved that would allow the ceremony to begin. It was easier when the Prime rose, his presence alone demanding attention and the optics of all present.

"Welcome Citizens of Cybertron," the red giant's deep voice rose and flowed to the farthest mech in the crowd. "We have gathered to bear witness to a joyful union between the House of Protihex and the House of Praxus through their junior creations. A bond and a choice of love, not obligation."

The tone was different, more resonant than usual, Jazz noted absently, even as he realized that Prowl didn't register the difference. Prowl felt it though, the subtle echo of extra approval of a love-match.

The knowledge sent an extra shiver of appreciation through Jazz into Prowl, memories of the bonding of his oldest sibling slipping through his processor, a match of politics and tradition. Love and thankfulness that it was a mech of his choosing and the match of his spark standing at his side.

"The sparks of all of Primus's children are precious, and there is joy when two of them are bound before him, to face the future together, stronger as one," Optimus Prime continued, his voice's resonance picking up, sweeping the crowd with him.

"Jazz, fourth creation of Lady Rilla and Lady Sweetsong, the rulers of Protihex, do you take the mech beside you as your bonded, to honor him above all others for your entire functioning?" Prime asked, entering the formal portion of the ceremony. "Will you share your berth with him and place your creations with him above all others?"

"I do and willingly." The answer was easy, and said with all of the conviction Jazz felt in his spark.

The Prime smiled warmly at him before turning to focus on the cloaked figure.

In the momentary pause before Prime spoke, white hands on black arms slid out to the clasp and unlocked it. The cloak floated down to pool around Prowl's feet, revealing him in all his pristine black and white glory. The gleaming red chevron lifted as Prowl raised his face to look upon his Prime and doorwings slid outward in the smooth flutter of tightly controlled joy.

"Prowl, seventh creation of Lord Crystal and Lady Cloud, the rulers of Praxus, do you take the mech beside you as your bonded, to honor him above all others for your entire functioning?" Prime's voice rolled over Prowl. "Will you share your berth with him and place your creations with him above all others?"

In that moment Jazz realized what was going on as he felt Prowl's response, the similarities and differences it had from Sirenis' voice. The harmonics of Prime's voice called on the truth, demanded it, forbid anything but honesty before it. It was a wondrous feeling for Prowl as his spark, his processors and the truth were in perfect harmony.

The moment the cloak hit the ground the Prime fell to second in Jazz's attention, the respect he commanded unable to compare to the hold that his bonded had on his spark. And being able to feel what Prowl felt through the bond, how happy his mate was, was wonderful.

"I will, my Lord Prime," Prowl bowed his head and his doorwings in submission, yet no one could doubt the tightly contained joy and pleasure displayed in those vibrating wings.

"Then by the power invested in my by Primus, I declare that Jazz of Protihex and Prowl of Praxus are bonded in law before all of Cybertron," Prime's voice rose once more, musical and thrumming to every spark in the garden.

With the warm, doting smile of a creator towards a beloved creation, Prime lowered his gaze to Jazz once more. "If you wish to say anything to your bonded before all, I welcome you to speak your spark."

A very small bow, of thanks and acceptance, before he turned to face his bonded.

"Jazz, the reason my spark pulses," Prowl turned to his bonded and reached out to clasp black hands in his white ones. "You have opened my optics and my spark to the joys in functioning. A reason to exist beyond my duties. You are everything I never dared hope for. I love you with all my spark, my beautiful Jazz, and I thank Primus every orn that you are mine."

"When we first met," Jazz responded, "I was sure Primus was laughing. Now if he was, I believe he was smiling as well." Fingers wove together; lacing tightly with Prowl's, symbolic of everything Jazz hoped and longed for, present and future. "Treasure unlooked for, gift for the unworthy. I love you with everything I am. I will stand by you through anything we may face, together as one."

He looked into Prowl's optics. ~Yours as you are mine, forever, with the blessing of Primus.~

~Yes,~ Prowl's spark sang with joy. His doorwings fluttered wildly, displaying to all his inner feelings as he lifted Jazz's hands to kiss the fingers reverently.

Neither mech was all that aware of their audience anymore as Prowl drew Jazz into his arms, pulled him close, and kissed him with all the passion in his spark. The mech in his arms melting into the embrace, returning the kiss with equal passion, laying claim to his mate with a fierceness that none who observed would doubt.

Prowl moaned into the contact, his spark singing as it always did when faced with Jazz's desire for him. His hands stroked Jazz's back, drawing him closer as pleasure began to spiral from one spark to the other, stroked by knowing hands.

The shared passion flared, passion that had only been strengthened by time and trials since it was kindled all the vorns before.

Prowl very much wanted to ignore the polite cycling of a vocalizer nearby, but Jazz recognized the harmonic and reluctantly broke away to look at a very amused Prime.

"While I am sure some parties would enjoy your traditional culmination of the ceremony, you may wish to save that for later," Prime chuckled.

"Lord Prime." Jazz agreed, firmly getting a hold of himself before daring to look at his bonded. The flared doorwings, the segments fanned out, his armor puffed out to maximize heat dissipation ... it was quite possibly the most erotic thing Jazz had ever seen short of Prowl's spark reaching for his. "Shall we?"

The Praxian nodded and stepped back, struggling to center himself enough so he wouldn't simply grab Jazz and ravish him completely in front of everyone now that he truly could.

They turned to face Prime and bowed.

"Until all are one," Prime smiled at the new couple, setting off a cheer that reverberated through the gardens. He lowered his voice and clasped a hand on each of their shoulders. "Enjoy the partly. There will be plenty of time to enjoy each other after dark."

"Thank you." Jazz said, sending his bonded a promise of just how much Jazz intended to make up the wait to his bonded once they were free from their obligations here at the party. "We do have guests to see too, love. And my brothers are getting impatient, I believe."

Nearly three joors later Prime finally found an opportune moment to separate the newly-but-not-newly bonded couple from the crowd. That they were both lightly overcharged had only helped him as their patience for not sneaking off for a little fun in a back corridor was diminished. He waited for the overload to settle and the pair to relax before giving an audible click to warn them of his approach. After all, he'd seen enough in each of their sparks to know his rank was no protection against either of them defending the other from anything they perceived as a threat.

Caught but not particularly sorry about the fact Jazz wrapped an arm around his bonded, greeting the Prime respectfully even as Prowl held him tight.

"I wished to speak to you both in private," Prime smiled at the adorable pair. "About how long you have been bonded by spark and how it happened."

For a moment Jazz froze, then relaxed. "Of course, my Lord."

He leaned into Prowl. ~You know the Gardens better, love. Where would be best for us to talk?~

"The Circle of Ancient Reflection," the Praxian said, looking at Prime. "No one will bother us there."

Prime nodded. "Very true. It requires the Matrix to even open from the outside." He raised an optic ridge. "I take it you found a way in without me?"

"My first few hundred vorns were full of my efforts to entertain myself until others began to realize that to leave me to my own devices was ... hazardous," Prowl said sheepishly even as he tugged Jazz to follow him.

Jazz laughed, enjoying that special part of his mate that few now knew of, that curious, mischievous side of Prowl that still existed buried deep in the handsome mech. He followed where he was led, curious to see this part of the gardens denied him until now, and not afraid of what might come. Prime was not upset and he was next to Prowl. What could go wrong?

They wound their way deep into the garden to where it began to climb the palace ground's outer wall. Yet between the time it took Jazz to glance at his mate's profile and look forward again the scene had changed. Instead of a large, ancient crystal there was now a doorway in the middle.

"It only appears when the Matrix is close," Prime explained. "Which does make me curious how you even found out it existed."

"Spatial physics," the Praxian shrugged one doorwing. "There was a space that wasn't accounted for."

Jazz paused mid-step, slightly in awe of his mate as he looked at the door. ~Prowl?~

~It's safe,~ Prowl nuzzled him and paused, allowing Prime to enter first. ~It's just ancient magic. I got in and out a dozen times before Impact made me promise not to sneak in anymore.~

Reassured, Jazz allowed himself to be led inside, looking around curiously now. It didn't look different from the rest of the garden, other than being completely inside a crystal, that while huge, was not nearly large enough to contain it. Even on the inside he couldn't tell how Prowl might have gotten in or out.

~It was blocked off,~ Prowl explained with a touch of sadness and guided Jazz to one of the luxurious crystal benches carved into the space.

"Now," Prime focused on them when all there where settled. "How long have you been spark-bonded?"

"Almost the entire time we were supposed to be courting." Jazz answered honestly, leaning into Prowl. "Over a hundred vorns."

"How did it happen?" Prime asked, his tone gentle and unrecriminating.

"We had merged, not for the first time, but early on," Prowl drew him closer. "I wanted him to be mine, to always be mine. I wasn't thinking of bonding, not actively."

"Neither of us were thinking anything at that point," Jazz chuckled. "I know I agreed, I wanted to be his, to have him forever. We woke up able to hear each other in our sparks. Kinda worked out what happened from there."

For the first time there was not instant disbelief, instant doubt, about their story. Instead Prime settled better on his seat, just studying the pair for a moment. "And you chose to keep this to yourselves, telling no one?"

"Not until Sideswipe and Sunstreaker caught us after a metacycle," Prowl nodded. "Thankfully they chose to confront us in private and once they were convinced I was being good to their brother they agreed to help us conceal it and convince our creators to allow the legal bonding to take placer sooner. After seven vorns I believed Impact was convinced enough that Jazz was good to me that we came out to her to gain an ally in Praxus. We told no one else. We intend to tell no one."

"No one else needs to know, now." Jazz rumbled defiantly, pulling Prowl closer. They were bonded, legally and completely. "They aren't going to tell anyone, and it doesn't matter now."

"No, it does not," Prime reassured them. "I have no desire to cause turmoil in your families or for you. However, if you did intend to tell them, I would be willing to sooth the shock some. The Matrix of Leadership sings with joy at your bond, far more than it does for most. I do not know what role you will play in Cybertron's future, but I have no doubt it will be important."

~I know of no reason to tell them, unless you think it necessary love.~ Jazz commented, considering that new bit of information. ~Except Sideswipe.~

~Why does Sideswipe need to know what the Matrix thinks?~ Prowl glanced at him.

~The smart aft made several comments about Primus and the two of us very early on. He meant it as humor. I want to see his expression when I tell him this.~ Jazz responded, smug.

Prowl laughed out loud. ~All right love. Torment him all you want with it.~

Prime smiled at the result of the silent exchange. "Then I will leave you to enjoy the rest of your celebration," he stood. "I'm sure Prowl can work the way out when you are ready to indulge the outside world again."

Prowl nodded as they thanked the Prime again, not even bothering to move as the regal mech left them to their own devices.

The Prime was barely out of sight when Jazz claimed a kiss from his mate, shifting around so that he was sitting in Prowl's lap. Comfortable, he broke the kiss, nipping and teasing at Prowl's face and neck as he purred. "He's putting a lot of faith in the idea that we'll come out again. Stupid party was starting to take too long."

"He never mentioned rejoining the party," Prowl purred, his hands quickly finding the sensitive seams on Jazz's sides and lightly rocking his codpiece against his lover's ... his bonded. Yes, they really were bonded in law now, not just in spark. "As long as we make the ceremony in Protihex no one will expect to see us." He ducked his head to nibble Jazz's neck. "No one will really want to see us, given my temperament. You do know you're the only anything that has driven me to violence?" ~I love you that much, more than even family.~

The idea drew a small whimper from the mech on his lap.


His. And now he could treat the mech he loved in a way that he never had and never would love the rest of his family as Prowl deserved. With all of his devotion, all of his attention, all of his spark.

They were family now.

His spark trembled, already craving more than the mere physical touch of skilled hands.

~Yes,~ Prowl moaned into a kiss and unlocked his chest plates. ~Merge here, in this place of the Primes.~ He trembled, unable to give words, even in thought, to the intensity of the proposition. The forbidden claimed for their own.

Spark glow joined the light from the living crystal, adding a level of magic that the two responsible for were almost too far gone to notice. Wrapped up in the presence of perfection, even the location was second to each other. They sank into the familiar bond with renewed purpose, going even deeper than they ever thought possible. They had never held back before, but this place, Prowl's personal and crystal resonance in it, drew them into another level of awareness.

Somehow Prowl's connection to Primus was flung open here, and Jazz's followed suit. It basked both of them in the purity of their creator, the great spark that they had all originally come from.

Love for both of them, pure and bright.

Then a pull, a tug on their bond that caused each to hold to the other all the tighter in a refusal to let go for anyone or anything.

Approval of the love that existed between them, and a blessing on it as well as the power withdrew and everything faded but the sense of being whole and complete and loved in the presence of one who balanced completely and did so without reservation or hesitation.

A reaffirming and strengthening of two as one.